Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Debbiesiu L. Lee

Second Committee Member

Carol-Anne I. Phekoo

Third Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Fourth Committee Member

Melissa Baralt


This qualitative study explored the factors that contributed to community colleges students’ successful completion of the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program for English Language Learners (ELLs) and entrance into the Honors College at Miami Dade College. The purpose of this study was to develop a mid-level theory about the factors and processes that facilitate this success for these students. A phenomenological and grounded theory approach and analysis was used to discover the lived experiences of these students and to construct a mid-level theory that helps capture their experiences. The study was conducted at a mid-size campus of a large, Hispanic-serving mostly two-year institution (HSI) located in Southeastern Florida. Data was gathered from students using a one-on-one, semi-structured interview format designed to identify the factors that contributed to participants’ journeys from the EAP program to the Honors College. The major themes and processes that led to the students’ journey are explicated from their interview data. Implications of the study including findings for community college administrators, Honors College administrators, faculty and support services are discussed.


ELL; ESL; Honors; community college; student success; grounded theory