Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educ Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Mitchell R. Williams

Committee Member

David F. Ayers

Committee Member

William Muth


Barriers to education and training can have a generational impact on socioeconomic status and economic development. Post-traditional students have been shown to experience a variety of barriers to education and family sustaining employment. Social capital has been shown to help alleviate some of the barriers for students resulting in stronger economic outcomes, such job retention, and higher wages. This case study examined a workforce development approach to providing support to post-traditional students in non-credit industry training. The researcher examined student outcomes, credential attainment and employment, between two student groups (Network2Work versus a nonNetwork2Work group) using chi-square and logical regression analysis. This study found no significant relationship between Network2Work and student outcomes. Further examination determined that older students and female students participating in Network2Work had higher credential rates, and Black students had higher employment rates compared to the control group. Students participating in Network2Work also had higher employment rates in quarter two of fiscal year 2020, during the peak COVID-19 pandemic. This study provided a new angle, a social capital perspective, to examine the role community college and nonprofit programs can play in removing barriers for diverse student populations in workforce development.


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