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ERIC Number: ED557844
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 286
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-6861-3
Factors That Relate to the Persistence of First-Generation Undergraduate Students in a Public University
Thachil, Shoba Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida Atlantic University
This study examined factors that relate to the persistence of first-generation undergraduate students in a 4-year public university in the Southeastern United States. Results were analyzed from a 2011 two-part survey: CARES-I (College Assessment of Readiness for Entering Students-Intent) and CARES-A (College Assessment of Readiness for Entering Students-Actual/Achieved. Semistructured interviews were conducted with first-generation undergraduate persisters, administrators, and professors. There was no statistically significant difference in persistence between continuing-generation and first-generation students. None of the factors, with the exception of performance goals on CARES A, were found to relate to persistence. Significant positive correlations were found between persistence and residential status, a learning strategies course, gender, high school GPA, and first semester in college GPA. The learning communities program was not found to significantly relate to persistence. The CARES surveys were found to be weak for predicting persistence. There was no significant interaction between any of the factors, persistence, and first-generation and continuing-generation, except for performance goals on CARES I and self-efficacy on CARES A. Findings from the interviews indicated that self-efficacy was highly important to graduation. The students had clear academic and professional, learning, monetary, and social outcome expectations. Student performance goals varied in amount of time, use of learning strategies, and organizational tools. Of the organizational variables, academic and social integration positively impacted persistence. However, the participants wished to have had higher grades as freshmen, found the STEM courses tough, had no informal interaction with administrators or professors, and did not use office hours enough. Students spoke positively of institutional programs, clubs, services, and organizations such as Supplemental Instruction (SI), the Math Lab, and Writing Center. Administrators and professors expressed a need for more information and responsiveness to persistence factors. Persistence was not impeded by family, friends, or work, whereas financial issues were prevalent. Although demographic variables did not negatively impact persistence, exo and macrosystem factors beyond the doors of the university emerged. Recommendations and options are provided for further research and for the university to improve persistence, [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; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations