Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Chad Becker, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Consuella Lewis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Charles Bindig, Ed.D.


A phenomenon of student mobility exists under Michigan’s school choice policies. School leaders must identify ways to attract and retain students for the survival of their school and the academic success of children. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experiences of parents who have utilized school choice policy in a way that has resulted in multiple moves for their children. The central research question for this study was: What are the experiences of parents whose children have been mobile students, through participation in the state’s school choice policy? Data was collected during a series of three face-to-face interviews with 12 participants. Three central themes and corresponding subthemes emerged from the interviews: (a) parents have feelings of empowerment and freedom in regards to the opportunities school choice provides; (b) parents experience feelings of being limited and helpless; (c) parents feel a lack of connectedness to school communities. Parents experience significant changes in school communities over short periods of time, and practitioners must continually adapt to the academic and social needs of an ever-changing population. Implications of this study include a need for policy changes; Michigan leaders should rewrite the state’s open enrollment rules to ensure access and equity.

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