Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Louisa Kramer-Vida, Ed. D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Shaireen Rasheed, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dr. Sheri Kelleher, Ed. D.


This mixed methods case study examined how a student success program at a private four-year college in the eastern region of the United States may enhance student success and students’ associated feelings of a sense of belonging. Results and findings add to the overall student success literature and may benefit other institutions in higher education through viewing sense of belonging as a gateway to retaining students. The researcher used an explanatory sequential mixed method design that involved collecting quantitative data first through a University Belonging Questionnaire (UBQ) and then explaining the quantitative results through in-depth qualitative data acquired through zoom interviews. Participants included a sample of 10 students in the student success program and a sample of five coaches in the program, where five students were advisees of the five coaches interviewed. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: communication, individual relationships, and connections. These themes related to instilling feelings of a sense of belonging.