Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Adriane Williams

Committee Co-Chair

Margaret Glenn

Committee Member

Ernest Goeres

Committee Member

Lauryl Lefebvre

Committee Member

Jaci Webb-Dempsey


The purpose of this study was to examine how successful FGCS in community colleges addressed challenges they face in order to complete their degree programs. This study was based upon Titno's (1993) Model of Student Departure and explored what methods and programs were most beneficial in helping FGCS overcome the challenges they faced as they worked on their degrees. This study explored each of the three categories discussed: (a) responsive social support; (b) financial preparation and acquisition; and (c) proactive academic preparation and encouragement through the use of semi-structured individual interviews. A more thorough understanding of how to assist FGCS benefits postsecondary staff and faculty who work closely with students. The results of this study can aid individual staff members as well as departments so they can better use and focus their efforts in assisting FGCS.;The findings in this study are essentially consistent with the findings in current research on first generation students with a few notable exceptions. The findings of this study supported those of other research indicating FGCS are for the most part not academically prepared for college; often have limited financial resources; and are not encouraged to attend college from a young age.;The findings of this study indicate previous research regarding social integration may not apply to FGCS in a community college setting. Although the participants did not fully meet the criteria for social integration, they did found a match between their social values, preferences, and behavioral styles with other members of the community and felt supported in their educational pursuits.;The findings of this study led to a number of implications for action. One implication is that colleges and universities need to do more to help secondary school students learn how to prepare for and what to expect at college. In addition, colleges and universities need to do more to help FGCS transition to the college experience. Colleges and universities also need to evaluate and consider revising how they offer services on campus in order to address FGCS' schedules. One of the most critical steps colleges and universities need to take is to identify students who may need assistance.