Date of Award

Winter 12-22-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Carole Pelttari


This qualitative research examined what adults who experienced homelessness as children believe teachers can do to ensure their homeless students achieve academic success. Objectives of the study was to interview participants who experienced homelessness as children, report on recent research regarding academics and homeless children, and suggest ideas to assist students in achieving academic success. Interviews were conducted with three adult participants who experienced homelessness as children. Results of the interviews were interpreted through thematic analysis to isolate identifying themes. Five themes were identified within the participants’ interviews: Lack of Compassion/Need for Compassion, Lack of Friends, A Lot of Change in Living Situations/Schools, Effects on Student’s Academics, and Need for Intervention. The participants’ interviews revealed the following findings to what they believe teachers can do to ensure students’ academic success: be more involved in student’s home life, get to know your students, do not stereotype, have compassion for your students, provide students with reading material, provide family literacy activities, understand they have a lot of adult worries, and allow more flexibility with schoolwork. Participants were in agreement there needs to be intervention for these students to succeed, and that with intervention homeless students can achieve success.