Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Joanne Marshall



A phenomenological approach was used with this study to give a voice to individuals who are incarcerated for the purpose of understanding their past educational experiences in the areas of academics, personal/social, and career exploration. The study included interviews with 25 individuals who are incarcerated and who were purposefully selected to represent people from two groups: those previously known and those unknown by the researcher. Only individuals who are incarcerated who resided in an Iowa Correctional Facility participated in the study. A 45-60 minute semi-structured interview was conducted with each incarcerated individual. Interview questions focused on the individuals' perceptions of their K-12 education in regard to their academics, personal/social behaviors, and career education experience. The findings identified the importance of including the student voice in the design and implementation of academics, personal/social behavior, and career education to ensure that K-12 students receive the necessary supports, thus possibly reducing their risk of future incarceration.

This study concluded its examination of academics, personal/social behaviors, and career education and the inclusion of the student voice by determining that listening to the K-12 student voice in regard to the three components of education can better connect students to their learning, resulting in better academic achievement, appropriate personal/social behaviors, and a realization of possible future careers, as well as how students relate to school in general. It also provides ways in which the model can be modified to direct better service of students overall.


Copyright Owner

Lisa Ann Hill



File Format


File Size

251 pages