Date of Degree


Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)


Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


Nyunt, Gudrun


Hutchings, Quortne

Committee Members

Hu, Xiaodan


higher education, organizational change, student persistence, positional leadership, buy-in


Literature on how colleges change is limited and theoretical in nature. The purpose of this qualitative case student was to explore how Retention University changed their culture and norms to increase student persistence and retention. Data was collected with semi-structured interviews with 16 participants at a large, public university in the southeast. Four primary themes emerged from data: (1) leaders play an important role in fostering organizational change; (2) leaders need to be strategic about how they foster change; (3) leaders need to consider how organizational contexts might hinder change; (4) and value the people and process. Implications for further research and practice are discussed.


Northern Illinois University

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