Lauren Ewing


Education: Bachelor of Science in mathematics (May 2020)

Currently pursuing a Master of Arts in higher education at the University of Arizona

McNair Project: Academic Barriers in Higher Education (2019)

Mentor: Mike Finnegan, Ph.D.

This study is an analysis of Kansas State University student experiences during their first semester which ultimately led them to dismissal. The researcher focused on participants that have been through the dismissal process, have been readmitted and are now involved in the SPARK program. With a phenomenological approach, the study aims to acquire knowledge and gain insight of how institutions can properly support students. Participant interviews helped to unfold the many different and unique academic barriers students face during their time at college. Data collected from the aforementioned interviews were coded to identify significant statements. These statements and themes were discussed as they relate to the phenomenon the participants experienced. The results showed a significant positive change in mindset and involvement of three students.