Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Manning, JoAnn B.

Committee Member 1

Monahan, Thomas

Committee Member 2

Klein, Michael


administration, education, leadership, practice, theory


Individualized instruction; Universities and colleges


Educational Methods


The purpose of this grounded theory study was to develop a theory, grounded in data provided by faculty, administrators, and institutional document analysis, concerning why and how faculty and administrators at three New Jersey higher education institutions use individualized learning practices. Individualized learning practices, as defined in this study, are the actions, activities, and procedures performed by faculty and administrators at the course, program, and institutional levels that assist students as they progress through a higher education institution. The study found a variety of individualized learning practices are utilized by faculty and administrators at the course, program and institutional levels as strategies to meet students where they are in order to enable students to achieve their higher education goals. The study found that “meeting students where they are” was the core phenomenon of the theory and that meeting students where they are requires understanding the students current academic, financial and developmental status as well as their higher education goals. The study follows the Strauss and Corbin (1990) grounded theory methodology and discusses the core phenomenon; the causal, contextual and intervening factors; as well as the strategies and consequences of the theory developed in this study.