Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Deborah Hunter

Second Advisor

Susan Comerford


ABSTRACTAnd just like that, on March 11th 2020, the university released a startling update informing the campus community that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person instruction would not resume after Spring Break and that all classes would shift immediately to remote instruction. What does remote instruction mean? What happened to these students as a result of the university’s sudden transition to technology-enabled and online courses? What was their academic and social experience really like throughout emergency remote learning? Of particular concern to me were first-generation college students who relied upon the university’s infrastructure to meet their needs. Consequences associated with reliance on technology, limited access to internet service, lack of parental and community support, and diminished institutional resources raised red flags. This unprecedented educational circumstance prompted by a global pandemic presented a prime research opportunity. As such, I conducted a qualitative research study utilizing the narrative approach to explore their unique and shared educational experiences as first-generation college students relegated to emergency remote learning. Through the development of trends and themes derived from these students’ narrative accounts, I provide insight into their profoundly altered educational experience and offer recommendations that promote a high quality virtual learning environment.



Number of Pages

185 p.