Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Administration and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Susan Korach, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Kent Seidel

Third Advisor

Lyndsay Agans


Alternative education, At-risk students, Discipline, Expulsion, Resilience, School exclusion


Expulsion from school is life changing. This single event can alter the trajectory of a student's life--for better or for worse. How life changes is unique for each individual student. Risk and protective factors that impact an individual student's resilience determine the level of positive or negative outcomes experienced as a result of expulsion. Educators have the opportunity to take advantage of this disruption in students' education to improve the trajectory of students' lives. However, without thoughtful intervention from caring educators, this interruption in students' education may have an irreparable destructive impact on students' future.

The purpose of this study was to understand the expulsion experience from the point of view of the student in order to represent this critical stakeholder group in future policy and program development, implementation, and decision-making. Students' narratives are a means for members of the educational community to access students' experiences and perceptions in order to understand the impact of expulsion on students' lives. Students' perspectives are presented through thick description in this narrative case study.

The experience of these eight students is evidence that expulsion can change students' lives in a positive way. Knowing this, responsible educators must develop interventions for expelled students that channel the positive life-changing potential of this experience. Educators must develop interventions focused on bringing forth protective factors that are documented to increase resilience and to make students less susceptible to the risks inherent in removing them from school. Recommendations for educators and policy-makers are presented to assist educators in preventing expulsion and improving educational and socio-emotional outcomes for expelled students.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Nadia Coleman Krivenkov

File size

283 p.

File format





Education, Education Policy, Secondary Education