Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Andrew Alexson


In Chile, 50% of students who enroll in Chilean colleges do not graduate, negatively impacting their families' economic situations as well as national development. The purpose of this qualitative bounded case study was to gain a deeper understanding of the perceptions held by math, English, and general education professors regarding the support provided to freshman students in a program at 1 campus of a private Chilean university. Deci and Ryan's self-determination theory emphasizing internal and external motivations and social constructivism theory emphasizing development as a process comprised the conceptual framework. Both theories provide meaningful understanding of the drivers that support students in their learning process. The research questions focused on understanding the support that math, English, and general education professors and directors might provide to freshman students. A purposeful homogeneous sampling was used to identify 9 professors and 3 directors. Data collection involved semistructured interviews, peer debriefing, and member checks to triangulate the data. The findings revealed that the university could benefit from implementing a seminar program to acclimate conditionally admitted students to university studies. A 1-week seminar was developed. This study may contribute to positive social change by influencing professors' and directors' perceptions regarding possibilities for supporting students in improving their academic performance, thereby raising student passing and graduation rates to positively impact national development in Chile.