Ed.D. Doctor of Education
Educational Services and Leadership
College of Education
Monica Reid Kerrigan, Ed.D.
Committee Member 1
Lawrence Nespoli, D.Ed.
Committee Member 2
Steven Rose, Ed.D.
Community College, COVID-19, Online Support Services, Student Affairs, Student Services, Virtual Campus
Community college students--Services for
Community College Leadership | Higher Education
The purpose of this qualitative constructivist grounded theory research study was to understand and develop a theory about the experiences of community college students accessing online student support services, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when colleges were forced to close their in-person services. Interviews with seventeen students and a review of 57 email communications from the College yielded the data to construct a theory that extends the theories of sense of belonging and ethic of care to virtual student services – the Virtual Caring Campus Theory.
In the absence of a physical campus, colleges can create a virtual caring campus by incorporating three components of this theory: communication as a conduit of systemic organizational care; virtual student engagement and institutional agents as facilitators of belonging and care; and organizational caring through holistic student supports resulting in student empathy and altruism. The elements of this theory can provide a framework for providing virtual student services during future crises that force campus closures, to fully online learners who do not have access to a physical campus, or to campus students who prefer virtual services.
Dougherty, Lisa A., "COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS' SENSE OF BELONGING AND CARE DURING COVID-19: A GROUNDED THEORY STUDY" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 2983.
Available for download on Thursday, April 13, 2023