Date of Award

Fall 9-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Bishop

Abstract

Knowing the perceptions of college students regarding their safety on campus from an active school shooter can be valuable when campus police and security, college safety boards, and other members of the college community are designing policies and emergency plans to protect the college. However, few studies have been conducted to examine perceptions of students regarding fear of a school shooter on a university campus. To address this gap in the literature, this particular study was conducted to specifically inspect the perceptions of students regarding fear of a school shooter on a university campus in Missouri. This study resulted in a record of how the fear of a school shooter is perceived by college students from a variety of viewpoints. A qualitative, grounded theory design was selected for this study and was framed through the perspective of values theory and human and campus ecology theories. Interviews with 25 university students in Missouri were conducted. Data analysis resulted in the emergence of four major themes: (a) contentment, (b) partnership, (c) communication, and (d) maintenance. Overall, students in this study felt a great degree of contentment and desired to reduce their fear of an active shooter by creating a partnership with campus police, communicating better, and rejecting stricter gun laws.

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