Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Olga Salnikova


Nontraditional students often enroll at institutions of higher learning without the technology skills needed to complete coursework and achieve academic success. The problem at a small community college in the Southern United States is that instructors are providing limited support for nontraditional students using technology, which may leave students ill-prepared to complete coursework. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine instructional support of nontraditional students using technology to complete coursework and to make recommendations to improve instructional support of students. Knowles’s adult learning theory, Daloz’s mentoring theory, and Siemens’s connectivist theory provided the framework for the study. Research questions addressed how community college instructors support nontraditional students using technology in coursework and how such support aids academic success. Semistructured interviews with nine purposively selected instructors, the Policy and Procedure Manual for Distance and Electronic Learning, and Student Success Center documents were examined through coding and thematic analysis. Participants indicated nontraditional students lacked basic computer skills and internet access and were unfamiliar with the college’s learning management system. Document analysis revealed the college has a support system for both nontraditional students and instructors using technology. Participants recommended providing resources, individual help, and guidance to nontraditional students using technology, while documents suggested that students and instructors utilize the support system at the college. Study results presented in a position paper afforded an opportunity for social change by improving instructional support of nontraditional students in using technology to complete coursework and achieve academic success.