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ERIC Number: ED568490
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 178
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-6672-2
First-Generation College Students' Persistence at a Four-Year College: A Phenomenological Case Study
Holodick-Reed, Jocelyn A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Wilkes University
First-generation college students differ in their backgrounds and experiences from other college students and are more likely to drop out of college than continuing-generation students (Ishitani & Snider, 2004; Lohfink & Paulsen, 2005). The purpose of this phenomenological case study was to describe the experiences of first-generation college students that contribute to their persistence at a four-year institution. Using Stanton-Salazar's (1997) social capital framework, research questions focused on the experiences of first-generation students that contributed to their persistence in college prior to and while enrolled in college. Fifteen first-generation, first-time students in their third and fourth years of college--three students from each of the five schools in a private four-year university in a Northeastern state--were participants in this study. Data from the participants were gathered through questionnaires, semistructured interviews and field notes. Triangulation of the data from these sources was used to find common themes to describe the experiences that helped first-generation college students persist. The results of the study found funds of knowledge acquired in preparation for college, focus on one's future, receipt of financial aid, supportive family members, good friends, caring faculty and staff, and the feeling of comfort on campus helped these first-generation college students to persist at college. These findings could be used to improve the retention rates of first-generation college students and contribute to the literature on the persistence of first-generation college students. [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