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ERIC Number: ED533593
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 176
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-5986-6
The Personal and Institutional Dimensions of Success for Low-Income Students: Implications for Collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs
Edwards, Patrick
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Mercer University
College completion remains one of the most compelling and vexing policy issues in higher education today. Although access to higher education has increased substantially over the past three decades, student success in college as measured by degree completion has not improved significantly. There is a great disparity in the percentage of low-income students who earn a college degree in six years when compared to the percentage of high-income students who finish in six years. This qualitative study used a single-campus case study design to explore the personal and institutional dimensions that fostered and sustained success for low-income students at a public four-year university that consistently has one of the highest six-year graduation rates in the nation. Data collection methods included in-depth interviews, one focus group, document analysis, and brief observations of 11 student participants, four faculty/staff participants, and two senior level institutional leaders. The setting for the study was Case Study University (CSU). The results of this study showed that institutional factors that facilitated student success were students' background and characteristics (the qualifications of students admitted to CSU); a comprehensive support network that created a safety net for low-income students; a culture that was infused with engagement/involvement especially faculty-student engagement; sharing the responsibility for student success; shaping the student's experience; and an institutional commitment to low-income student success. The personal and institutional factors low-income students attributed their success to included their personal background and characteristics (prior qualifications, family support, skills/attributes); peer support; comprehensive support network (especially financial support in the form of AIDCSU); faculty-student engagement; high expectations; and their student experience (culture, reputation, ownership of CSU). [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A