Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott Gaier

Second Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Third Advisor

C. Skip Trudeau


The purpose of this study was to examine how students’ perceptions of academic support impact their willingness to seek support from an academic support center at a small, faith-based, liberal arts university. Eight students were interviewed for the study, with an even divide of four students who had voluntarily sought academic support and four non-support-seeking students enrolled in an individualized probationary course. A major finding related to the importance of developing need recognition for academic support among individual students. Research showed that students’ perceptions of academic support were closely tied to their perceived need of services. It was also clear that positive academic support experiences bred positive student perceptions and a willingness to seek support in the future. Implications for future practice include further utilization and assessment of the university’s probationary course format and further examination of student need recognition for academic support services.