The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. McCullar

Second Advisor

Dr. Jones

Third Advisor

Dr. Friedensen

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Heath

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Transition, Pandemic, Civil Unrest, Schlossberg’s Transition Theory


This qualitative constructivist case study examines how the graduating class of 2020 navigated the transition into college during a pandemic and civil unrest. The semi-structured interviews allowed for emic language and exploration of personal experiences of the emotional, social, and cultural impacts on this unique year of transitioning into higher education. The participants graduated from a large suburban high school and attend a large urban university in the Midwest. This research provided the opportunity for students to share their thoughts and feelings as they traversed this new landscape. The result of the research identified themes that supported the successful transition during this unprecedented time. Themes included Schlossberg’s four S’s: support, self, situation, and strategy. Motivation was also a very clear theme to aid in the transition process. The completion of this research provided evidence that more studies would provide knowledge and applicable suggestions for students transitioning into college during precarious times.

Keywords: Transition, Pandemic, Civil Unrest, Schlossberg’s Transition Theory



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