Educational Administration, Department of


First Advisor

Brent Cejda

Date of this Version

Winter 12-15-2017


Nordman, T. D. (2017). The Road Taken That Has Made All The Difference: A Narrative Inquiry of Student Engagement and Success in Butler Community College's Accelerated Learning Program in English. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Studies (Educational Leadership & Higher Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Brent Cejda. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2017

Copyright (c) 2017 Troy Douglas Nordman


The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate whether students who completed the accelerated learning program (ALP) in English at Butler Community College in fall 2016 perceived a three-part, structured approach to the course as having been a significant factor to their persistence and successful completion of the course. These perceptions were gathered during the spring 2017 semester through one-on-one, face-to-face interviews with 12 students from the fall 2016 cohort. Utilizing the conceptual framework of narrative inquiry proposed by Clandinin (2006) allowing the individual student narratives to weave a common, thematic context, this study examined the specific factors associated with the three-part strategic structure students perceived as having been critical to their success. Using both deductive and inductive analyses, the study did reveal relevant linkages between the three-part structural approach — a guided, co-requisite course design, AVID high engagement strategies, and focused tutoring support — and student perceptions. Moreover, additional factors emerged during the inductive process emphasizing the influence of the ALP learning environment on student success. These added factors included the formation of highly-engaged, collaborative learning communities among students and instructors as well as instructor support of student non-cognitive issues.

Advisor: Brent Cejda