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ERIC Number: ED549472
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 293
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2672-7027-6
Formational Relational Turning Points in the Transition to College: Understanding How Communication Events Shape First-Generation Students' Relationships with Their College Teachers
Wang, Tiffany Rose
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The purpose of the present study was to explore teacher-student interaction, teacher-student relationship formation and development, and the ways in which teacher-student interaction and relationships facilitated support and ultimately persistence to graduation for first-generation students in the transition to college. In this study I sought to better understand the nature of interaction in the teacher-student relationship of these first-generation students during their transition to college. I took an interpretive communication-centered approach to identify the teacher messages that first-generation students perceived to be relational turning points with their teachers as well as their perceptions of teacher messages and relational turning points. Thirty participants were interviewed for this study. Participants identified 86 relational turning points that occurred in their relationships with teachers during the college transition. These relational turning points were organized into four relational turning point supra-categories, three persistence relational turning point outcome categories, six relationship relational turning point outcome categories, and four classroom relational turning point outcome categories. Transition theory was the framework for this study. The main focus of transition theory concerns how individuals, and those with whom they are connected, deal with change. Taken together, the results of this study demonstrate that first-generation students perceived relational turning points as positive when they perceived that their teachers supported them and cared about them as individuals. The perceptions of the students increased their likelihood to persist, improved the quality of their relationships with their teachers, and enhanced their overall classroom experience. When first-generation students perceived relational turning points as negative, some first-generation students perceived that their teachers failed to support them and did not care about them as individuals. The negative perceptions decreased the likelihood to persist, detracted from the quality of their relationships with their teachers, and marred the overall classroom experience. Other first-generation students overcame relational turning points they perceived as negative and sought and found other individuals who supported and cared about them. [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