Date of Award

Spring 4-19-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Edward Kim, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Aaron Derris, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Therese Kanai, Ph.D.


Research has shown mental health issues are prevalent in community colleges; however, community colleges lack mental health services. This qualitative case study was designed to add information to the scholarly literature about the significant role community college instructors play in recognizing the mental health state of their students. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain an understanding of how instructors at a community college in Louisiana recognize their students’ mental health needs. Two research questions guided this study: What perceptions do community college instructors in Louisiana have of student mental health needs?

How can a community college instructor in Louisiana provide and maintain assistance to students who suffer from mental health issues? The researcher employed purposeful sampling, resulting in a sample of 11 community college instructors at the Louisiana community college. Two of the participants were general education instructors, four were nursing and allied health instructors, and five were technical instructors (welding, technology, drafting). The data collection instruments were one-on-one face-to-face interviews, field notes, and documents. The inductive analysis model was used to analyze the data collected from the interviews and the data collected from the documents that the participants shared through the course of the interviews. The key findings of this study were that community college instructors find it difficult to recognize students’ mental health needs and even though they feel inadequately prepared to provide interventions or teach coping skills, they are willing to assist their students who may be experiencing mental health issues.

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