Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Monaghan, Catherine H.

Subject Headings

Adult Education


This research addresses the impact job-readiness programs have on the identity of unemployed adults. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the transformational learning that happened for a group of seven unemployed adults seeking employment. The research considered: 1) what meaning do unemployed adults make out of their experience going through job-training programs; 2) what are the liminal aspects of job-training programs; 3) how do aspects of the job-training programs influence the development of their identity; 4) what are the ways the programs shapes their views toward learning; and 5) in what ways was this experience transformative? Data were collected through interviews with participants and facilitators, and workshop observations. The findings of this study demonstrate how learners with barriers use learning environments as a space to further work on and develop their identities. The significance of this study demonstrates the need to consider program space and structure when working with unemployed adult learners with barriers to employment.