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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

First Generation African American College Students: A Qualitative Analysis of Barriers That Impact Graduation
by Talley, Shewanna Monique, D.E.Lead., University of Charleston - Beckley, 2020, 109; 27744864
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of first-generation African American students who are attending or have attended college for the first time. First-generation African American college students face many barriers that impact graduation. However, gaining an understanding in how to overcome the barriers is beneficial with college retention and success. There were five questions driving the study.

RQ 1: Was there a driving force to help you make the decision to attend college?

RQ 2: Did you have resources in high school available to assist you with making the decision?

RQ 3: Do you think higher educational leaders provided you with the necessary resources for success? Can you elaborate more on your answer to this question? What could higher educational leaders do differently?

RQ 4: Is there anything you would do differently regarding some of the barriers you encountered?

RQ 5: What advice would you offer to other first-generation African American college students to maintain success in college?

To effectively answer these questions a qualitative phenomenological study was conducted with six participants who were male and female using semi-structured questions in a one-on-one setting. The participants were further connected by a focus group where the participants were able to expand on their thoughts and barriers by connecting with others from a similar background. A review of the findings with the research questions provided emerging themes that were relevant to the study. The five emerging themes derived from the study with rank from high to low among first-generation African American college students were higher-education leaders, high school resources, advice for success, family, and barriers.

The findings from this study can aid higher educational institutions in implementing a mentoring program to assist first-generation African American college students in adjusting to college culture. The study contributed to research by identifying that educational leaders’ influence and the lack of resources are significant in first-generation African American college retention. The knowledge obtained from this study can be used to increase the retention rate among first-generation African American college students in higher education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mancini, Dale
Commitee: Barnette, John E., Kemp, Thomas, Wylie, Ruth G.
School: University of Charleston - Beckley
Department: Buisness and Leadership
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: DAI-A 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Continuing education, African American Studies, Educational leadership
Keywords: African American, Barriers, College students, First generation, Higher education leaders, Retention
Publication Number: 27744864
ISBN: 9781658492294
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