Rita Audy Johnston, Ph.D. is a 2017 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Johnston at her Dissertation Defense
L-R Dr. Linda Ellington, Committee Member, Dr. Rita Audy Johnston, Dr. Lize Booysen, Committee Chair. [Not pictured: Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Member.]
- Lize A.E. Booysen, DBL, Committee Chair
- Philomena Essed, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Linda Ellington, Ed.D., Committee Member
Given the scope and paucity of knowledge about the lived experiences of the female adult student entering or re-entering college later in life to degree completion, this research study identified significant themes in their lived experiences. With an appreciative eye, this study captured the female adult students’ lived experiences conveyed in a rich, inter-connected, and inspiring picture of who they are embedded into the larger context of society; such as role identity theory, social identity theory and the applicability and interpretations of these two theories on their journey to degree completion. This study also portrayed selected aspects of the feminist movement in the context of women’s access to higher education with reference to contemporary feminist views relevant to the female adult student entering or reentering college later in life to degree completion. The central question in this study: What was it like to be on a journey as a female adult student who enters, or re-enters, college later in life to degree completion? In order to inquire into the journey, or phenomenon, a qualitative methodology with a phenomenological design was used that allowed the participants to describe their lived experiences and how they made meaning of the journey to degree completion. Through a three-phased approach nine emergent themes and multiple sub-themes emerged that identified the journey and lived experiences of this group of female adult students to degree completion. This research study makes a unique contribution to the study of the marginalized group of females by not just identifying obstacles and challenges, but imparting in the participant’s own words how they overcame both internal and external influences that may have dissuaded other adult females from continuing to degree completion. By identifying the significant themes, it brought to the forefront the importance of raising awareness of the lived experiences of this marginalized group of female adult students to higher education institutions in order to bring changes in policies and procedures that will support their academic success to degree completion. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/and Ohiolink ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Johnston, R. A. (2017). Experiential Journey of Females Who Enter or Re-enter College Later in Life to Degree Completion. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/389