Date of Award

May 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership - Higher Education

Committee Member

Robin Phelps-Ward

Committee Member

Michelle Boettcher

Committee Member

D. Matthew Boyer

Committee Member

Rachel Wagner


In this study I explore my pedagogical choices in teaching conditionally-enrolled students in a summer bridge program. I address who conditionally-enrolled students are, what support they may need in the classroom, and larger problems in higher education related to conditionally-enrolled students. This study was guided by two research questions: what pedagogical choices do I make in the classroom that foster an engaging environment for conditionally-enrolled and academically underprepared students? What are the emotional and tangible effects of teaching a literature course for conditionally-enrolled students and how does daily reflection of these effects impact pedagogical choices?

I use Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) to examine how prolonged, critical reflection (Brookfield, 2017) and the use of phronesis (Birmingham, 2004) as a model of reflection impacts the instructor. SPN is a qualitative form of inquiry that positions the author’s experience as central to the discovery of new knowledge and relies heavily on the author’s voice (Nash, 2004). I share stories of teaching conditionally-enrolled students in a summer bridge program to highlight the challenges and opportunities of teaching underprepared students. I used a conceptual framework guided by Kahu (2013) to focus on developing engagement in the classroom to prepare students for college-level work. I argue that continual reflection of teaching throughout the duration of a course allows for the instructor to adapt to the needs of the students. Challenges to consistent reflection (such as time and emotional fatigue) and implications for instructors of conditionally-enrolled and first-year students are addressed.



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