Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


Urban Education

First Advisor

Anne M. Galleta

Second Advisor

Joanne Goodell

Third Advisor

Julie Burrell


The choice of college and careers are not simple. The choices students make when selecting a college can affect them for their entire life. Tressie Cottom (2017), in her book, Lower Ed, describes our educational journey like a stream (Cottom, 2017). We are all traveling down the stream of life, and there are rocks and forks. The question is: what diverts us on our path and where do we end up? This narrative study examines the experience of women attending For-Profit Institutions and the reasoning behind choosing to go to an FPI rather than a traditional higher education institution. The participants’ stories show that they were determined to find a better career, wanted to provide for their families, and had significant life events that changed their paths.