Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Ella M. Burton, EdD

Committee Member

Diane Parfitt, PhD

Committee Member

Theresa Saunders, EdD

Committee Member

Ronald Williamson, EdD


Recent charter school closures in a Southeastern Michigan community have created an influx of displaced students from communities where families are not provided systematic support to make the unexpected transition. The study utilized focus group and individual interviews to collect data from high school students who have experienced their charter high school closing and have transitioned into a single charter high school. Data analyses were done concurrently with data collection, and the first- and second-level codes were presented in matrix displays. Four themes emerged from the interviews of these participants. These themes were: sense of belonging, fear of the unknown, being powerless, and student voice. Through the completion of the study, the researcher was able to contribute to the understanding of the experience of displaced high school students as they transitioned to their new school. This study contributed to the current literature of educational leadership with recommendations to support displaced students in making a transition, whether due to school closure or other circumstances.