Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Donna Schnorr


The purpose of this study was to understand Student Services professionals’ perceptions of their technological competencies as they engage with students online and what an institution in the California community college system could do to develop technological competencies in Student Services classified professionals. Three questions guided this study and they were: (1) what technological competencies do California community college Student Services professionals indicate they have in order to engage with students online, (2) how does an online professional development training course increase technological competencies in California community college Student Services professionals so that they can engage with students online, (3) how could a California community college improve the professional development training course in order to develop technological competencies in Student Services professionals perceived abilities to engage with students online? The study's design was mixed-methods action research, therefore, data collection and analysis for this study used both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The findings of this study suggested several ways California community colleges Student Services administrators should develop technological training(s) according to the NASPA & ACPA (2015) standards; most importantly, the findings suggested strategies to advance Student Services professional technological competencies in a way that that will allow them to engage with students during their early stages of onboarding at a community college, which, in turn, would promote the likelihood of increasing students’ engagement. There is substantial evidence to suggest student engagement leads to student success. Lastly, considerations for Student Services professional development, and California community colleges practices are identified, and the next steps for future researchers are provided.