Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Deborah L. West

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Second Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Third Advisor

Corrie Benzing Rice

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


This is a qualitative study about students who attended First Line Supervision classes at a rural Kentucky Appalachian university. First Line Supervision classes are taught in six hour blocks and are designed to teach students leadership skills. These students took a series of leadership based topics to better prepare themselves for a leadership role in their current employment. In addition, they were seeking the necessary information needed to be successful in filling the educational gaps within their organizations. This study is important because participants identified: key components of classroom engagement; experiences in the classroom; types of classroom engagement currently taking place in workforce development classes; and barriers that exist with classroom engagement. Research questions were designed with the intent to gain insight from the participants regarding classroom dynamics in order to enhance further workforce development programming. The insight gained from this study is significant because it adds to the existing body of knowledge concerning First Line Supervision courses since the literature is scarce as it pertains to the voices of students in workforce development programming regarding their instructional needs.