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ERIC Number: ED561676
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 159
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-2781-7
Pathways to Success in Higher Education: Understanding the Influence of Mentoring Programs on First-Generation Students
Hegrenes, Stefanie Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota
First-generation students, those who are the first in their family to earn a college degree, represent one of the fastest-growing populations of college students in our country today. Unfortunately, this segment of our nation's college-going population also happens to be the least successful, according to national retention and graduation statistics. Despite the considerable contributions of existing research and initiatives to better understand low-income, first-generation students, one important view of the achievement gap has been ignored. Relatively little attention has been paid to the factors affecting "high-achieving," first-generation students' academic success. Most research in this area has focused on revealing the barriers these students face. Many negative factors have been well identified regarding low-income, first-generation college students' academic achievement. While the majority of low-income, first-generation students are not succeeding in higher education, there are many who are. This study explores the common characteristics and dimensions of high-achieving, low-income, first-generation students through a qualitative, multi-case study design. Interviews were conducted with twenty college students participating in mentoring programs at two private, Catholic colleges in the Midwest. An exploratory phenomenological methodology was chosen because it had the best potential to capture the lived experiences of program participants. As a result of the research, several contributing factors leading first-generation students to success were identified: Family support, academic preparedness, and personal drive to succeed. The study's findings suggest that when students have the right support: familial, academic, and programmatic, they will succeed at higher numbers than their peers who are also first-generation. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A