Date of Award

Summer 7-29-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Masha Krsmanovic

Committee Chair School



The purpose of this study was to explore eligible Complete 2 Compete (C2C) program applicants’ perceived barriers to degree completion. A total of 9,345 individuals were invited to participate in the study who applied to the C2C program yet did not engage in the process to complete their degree. Of this number, 167 completed the survey. The survey instrument was utilized to collect both quantitative and qualitative data required to examine the applicants’ perceived barriers to degree completion. Data analysis revealed that in addition to the common research-based barriers faced by adult learners, including institutional and situational barriers, issues encountered within the C2C program itself proved to be barriers as well. Specifically, with regards to the C2C program, program representatives’ lack of prompt communication with program applicants accounted for over 60% of the cited program barriers. The findings of this research provide recommendations for future research and implications for practice surrounding how both the C2C State Office and other adult learner initiatives can promote degree completion success among nontraditional students.