Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Peggy M. Delmas, Ph.D.


The study explored how practitioners perceived the transition to online student support services at a Mississippi community college during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study utilized the qualitative research approach of a single case study to gather data. Data was collected through open-ended surveys designed to acquire and interpret perceptions on an array of research questions. Forty-one administrators and staff participated in the study. The researcher employed hierarchical coding to narrow the data into themes. Subsequent rounds of coding and peer review were conducted to develop two principal themes of technology and institutional/personal preparedness. Kotter’s Change Model was utilized to evaluate participant perceptions of the institution’s transition to virtual and online environments during the pandemic and how those actions were used to mitigate personnel and student challenges. Data from participants are synthesized to advance the scholarship focused on the experiences of higher education and the COVID-19 pandemic. The themes of Technology and Personal/Institutional Preparedness emerged. Additionally, responses from administrators focused on institutional challenges and staff members identified personal struggles in adapting to online and virtual environments. The study concludes by offering recommendations for x future research, propositions for policy and practice initiatives, and limitations to the current study.