Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 6-12-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Heather Miller, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Aaron Deris, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Edward Kim, Ph.D.


Quality of Life, Life Satisfaction, Academic Success, Happiness, self-determination


The perception of positive quality of life and academic success among college students depends upon their own lived experience and understanding of how to manage life demands. The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain an understanding about the experiences of undergraduate students regarding quality of life and academic success at a mid-sized Midwestern university. Two research questions drove the study: How do university students perceive quality of life issues as they relate to academic success, and what life experiences are identified as influencing college student’s perception of a positive or negative quality of life? Purposeful sampling was used and 11 students volunteered for the study. All were undergraduates in a college of health professions. Participants were majors in sonography, physician’s assistant, nursing, allied health sciences, and pre-physical therapy, among others. The data collection instruments were semi structured interviews, secondary semi structured interviews and voluntary journals. The typological analysis approach was used to analyze the data collected from interviews and journals. The key findings were that participants identified four major themes that guided their understanding of quality of life and academic success: a) purpose and meaning in life relates to overall academic success and quality of life, b) stress, coping and academics were perceived as important to quality of life and success, c) relationships with faculty are desired by participants and important to quality of life and academic success and d) technology and social media are perceived positively and negatively; they help and hinder academic success and quality of life. The ability to manage and cope with issues related to the above themes seemed to be related to development of the student, and experience at the university. Through mentorship, quality of life and academic perceptions among students would become more positively understood.

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