Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Bill Boozang, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Matthew Basham, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Andrea Wilson, Ph.D.


Online education continues to grow as a delivery method for higher education. Institutions of higher learning have implemented effective support services for on campus students. The problem is whether institutions have implemented equally effective support services for online students. Although the number of online students continues to grow, institutions of higher learning struggle with the delivery of online education and support services offered to online students. For online students to persist and succeed, online support services must be equivalent to those offered to on campus students. This qualitative research study was conducted to determine the perceptions of online students regarding the support services provided. In this study, online students in the Organizational Leadership Program (ORGL) at a large public university in South Central United States responded to a confidential Qualtrics survey and participated in a telephone interview. The students answered questions about their real-life experiences with online support services. The majority of the online students were challenged in establishing a connection with the institution necessary for student success. Online students require distinct services from brick and mortar students. The online student faces challenges not encountered by brick and mortar students. Online students not receiving adequate online services may experience persistence issues and a lack of student success.

Included in

Education Commons