Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Guillermo Montes

Second Supervisor

Dr. Gloria Morgan


The purpose of this study is to gain understanding, from the perceptions of former out-of-school youth (OSY), as to what motivated reconnection into education or training programs. In addition, the study investigated what recruitment and program approaches they felt were important engagement strategies. A phenomenological design was chosen to capture the lived experience of OSY, aged 20 to 24 years old, who have reconnected at adult literacy and training centers. Nine OSY participated in open-ended interviews. As a result of the rich stories and open discussion, the researcher was able to identify the following four themes that capture the overall essence of the experience of the group: (a) OSY have goals for the future, (b) OSY need continuous support, (c) reconnection was a positive experience, and (d) OSY exhibit self-motivation and drive. Findings suggest a need for discretionary funding to meet the needs of OSY, redesigning K-12 education to provide individualized career pathways that begin in earlier grades, and providing a network of support agencies designed to seamlessly serve OSY.

Included in

Education Commons