Support Services for Academically Disqualified Students: A Comparison of Staff and Student Perceptions

This project seeks to learn more about the support services available to students identified as being academically disqualified using survey data from students and the staff who serve them. Beginning with an exploration of student and staff knowledge of academic disqualification, this thesis uses a mix-method design to narrate the story of students who are academically disqualified. Mixed method research is defined not only by the means of data collection, but by the manner in which the data is analyzed and used to draw conclusions (Plano, 2016). This project considers students’ initial notification regarding their disqualification status, to their efforts towards reinstatement and future educational endeavors. Beginning with Smallwood’s (1935) An Historical Study o f Examinations and Grading Systems in Early American Universities, this thesis considers the grade standards promoted in higher education through a critical lens. Moreover, this project relies upon Goffman’s 1963 theory of social stigma, Schlossberg's (1981) model for analyzing human adaption to transition, and Schlossberg’s(1989) theory of marginality and mattering as triangulated theoretical frameworks for exploring the experiences of students identified as academically disqualified. While student outreach to support services were addressed herein, further analysis revealed additional findings highlighting the differences between the experiences of men and women while on academic disqualification. Furthermore, since most survey respondents were Latina, particular attention is paid to their responses.