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Criminal Justice


Gregory M. Koehle


Text alert systems can help save lives by alerting individuals to dangers in the area, allowing them to react appropriately to the threat. For example, text alerts can give an individual the time to either run, hide, or fight during an active shooter incident. Conversely, when an individual does not receive an alert, they cannot respond to a threat and may be vulnerable to potential risk. Because no research had been completed on why individuals choose not to enroll in text alert programs, this qualitative study explored why students did not enroll in the text alert programs at their higher learning institution to address how enrollment could be increased. The three theoretical frameworks used to structure this study included the routine activity approach, the self-perception theory, and the self-discrepancy theory. Data were collected using purposive sampling with a snowballing method from 12 university students and analyzed using open coding with preset codes created using short phrases from the interviews to develop themes. The results of the study showed that female students are more likely to enroll in an optional program. The reasons for registering included to know what is going on and being alerted to pertinent information such as weather issues. Reasons for not registering included they forgot about it, do not need it, it is not important, and the program was not marketed very well. Implications for a positive social change in improving public policy to make enrollment for emergency text alert programs mandatory to help save lives at colleges and universities. The assumption is that schools with a mandatory subscription will allow for more comprehensive notification and increased safety.

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