Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Ulas Kaplan

Second Advisor

Peiwei Li

Third Advisor

James Sutton


With the rising costs and social implications of attending higher education, the importance of student success and degree completion has taken on even more weight in recent years. Something that can derail these important elements is the implementation of a restrictive sanction due to the impact they have on a student’s personal and social development. While the success rate of sanctioned K-12 students continues to be explored by many researchers, the population of traditional college students who are severely sanctioned has not been well represented in the literature. This study explores the lived experiences of college students issued a restrictive sanction due to their behaviors, instead of those who are “failing out” of college. Using a phenomenological method, five research participants completed a survey and took part in a semi-structured interview to provide insights into their experience with these sanctions. These participants, ranging from current students to recent graduates, faced a variety of sanctions across multiple institutions. This analysis resulted in themes such as student ostracization from the institution, perceived labeling from administration, a retreat to individual or small group reliance, reassessing priorities, and a change toward having a resigned or pessimistic view of their circumstances. Additionally, a theme outside of the student experience that arose was the belief that higher education institutions need to reconsider their sanctioning practices to a more individualistic response per each student. Recommendations from this study include institutions implementing a mentor to assist and accompany students on their restrictive sanction journey to enhance reflection.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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