Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses


Students' Experience of Their Campus Closure: A Phenomenological Investigation

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott Gaier

Second Advisor

Randall Dodge

Third Advisor

Skip Trudeau


This study examined students’ experience of their university campus closing. Participants included eleven traditional-aged, full-time, residential, undergraduate students. Phenomenological research methods were employed to extract the “essence” of students’ campus closure experience. Research findings indicated students’ experiences were both significant and difficult. Students’ campus closing experiences were influenced by individual characteristics, experiences prior to the campus closure, and institutional actions throughout the campus closing. Students’ experiences were characterized by considerable detachment from academic and social systems, and marginal development of students’ self-systems. Students’ disengagement from social and academic systems resulting from the campus closure poses a significant threat to student learning and involvement. The study’s findings include a model of Students’ Campus Closure Experience.

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