Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Katherine C Aquino

Second Advisor

Catherine DiMartino

Third Advisor

Stephen Kotok


The Post-Traditional Remedial Learner in higher education is a student constituency that has historically been Hidden in Plain Sight and strikingly absent from substantive discussions that foreground their lived experiences, relevance, and success in post-secondary education. Though physically present on campus and numerically significant within the academy, they are not recognized as an influential and consequential student demographic. The juxtaposition of their presence, specifically within the community college setting, and absence in the literature calls our attention to one of higher education’s most perplexing omissions. This study's purpose is to explore the lived experiences of Post-Traditional Remedial Learners (PTLs) in a specific developmental education program within a community college setting and discover which factors promote and impact their success. Also critical to this study is exploring the situational, dispositional, and institutional barriers PTRLs face as they attempt to complete developmental education milestones. This study employs a triangulated approach to qualitative investigation, centering the voices and lived experiences of 12 Post-Traditional Remedial Learners between the ages of 25 and 75, nine community college academic personnel, and document analysis through the review of documentary evidence that serves to supplement and corroborate the interview and focus group data. This multi-perspective approach was utilized to gain a deeper understanding and to be provided with thick descriptions that would help to explicate the phenomenon further and increase the credibility and validity of the findings. Ultimately, the study serves as both a resource and infrastructure upon which further work may be developed with opportunities to provoke a profound interest in this student populous and heightened levels of understanding, integration, and support for their collegial success.