Date of Award

Fall 12-9-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Michael Vega, PhD

Committee Member

Hillary Morgan, PhD

Committee Member

Stephanie Brescia, PhD


food insecurity, college students, college administrators, support, private institution



While food insecurity among college students has existed for decades, only in recent years has the focus on the impact of food insecurity on student success emerged. However, most of the research has been quantitative, conducted at public two-year and four-year colleges and focused on predictors, prevalence, and impact of food insecurity among college students. Although prior student-based research has been beneficial to understand the problem, there is inconsistency in how institutions and higher education professionals address this issue with their students.

A transcendental phenomenological single case study design was used in this study to explore the lived experience of college administrators who support food-insecure students at a private university. Using qualitative data gathered from 10 college administrators through surveys and semi-structured interviews, this study investigated the participants’ perceptions of their roles in support of food-insecure students. The institutional website was also examined to determine the institutional response to food-insecure students and to corroborate interview data.

Using institutional logics perspective as a framework for analysis, this study explored how college administrators perceive their role and motivations for supporting food-insecure students. A significant finding of this study was that neither institutional culture nor professional norms directly informed college administrators of any responsibility or process for supporting food-insecure students. The participants were motivated to support food-insecure students because of their personal values.