Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jaekel, Kathryn S.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


This study focused on exploring the perceptions of front-line staff in supporting student success at a mid-western community college. These staff are generally the employees who are not generally involved with teaching or administration, but work in offices like the business, financial aid, enrollment services, or are administrative assistants to the different departments. Nine participants participated in individual interviews and/or a focus group discussion. These front-line staff shared their stories that related to how they saw themselves contributing to student success, what they saw as the challenges and benefits of supporting students, and what professional opportunities were provided by the institution to help them with supporting student success. Findings from this study show that these front-line staff believe that they play an important role in student success, from listening to student problems to helping them achieve their goals. Interdepartmental communication and communication between administration and staff were seen as issues that impeded student success. The findings and conclusions drawn from this study will expand the literature about this under-researched group of college employees, and will help colleges train, hire, and support their front-line staff members.


81 pages




Northern Illinois University

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