Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Nyunt, Gudrun

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


Community colleges have recently begun supplementing nonacademic support services with student success coaching to increase retention. While preliminary research indicates that coaching may positively influence student retention, little is known about the student experience with coaching. The objective of this dissertation was to understand how students perceive participating in a structured coaching relationship in the Coach2Success (C2S, a pseudonym) program as influencing their persistence at Midwest Community College (MCC, a pseudonym). Data for this qualitative case study was collected via semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Interviews were conducted with 11 student participants in the success coaching program who had been retained one or more semesters at MCC. Documents analyzed were the C2S program’s annual reports, which included participant and collegewide retention data as well as participant responses from annual surveys on C2S participant experience and satisfaction. Findings provided insight on the importance of the student-coach relationship as influencing student persistence. Specifically, students highlighted the importance of coaches fostering relationship development, goal-setting, and motivation with participants. These findings provide insights for practitioners interested in creating coaching programs, revamping existing programs, and/or adding a coaching element to other student support strategies.


97 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

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