Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
First-generation college students, individuals seeking to earn a bachelor’s degree and whose parents or guardians do not have post-secondary degrees, are attending college at ever-increasing rates. These students regularly encounter obstacles they must overcome in order to persist and graduate. The purpose of this study was to discover if a relationship exists between retention of first-generation students and living on an integrated residence hall floor. The research occurred as a qualitative phenomenological approach with focus groups, and, after coding and theming the data, three themes—finances, involvement with the floor, and relationships—emerged. During the focus groups, mental health surfaced as a theme of magnitude. Much of the data pointed to relationships as a key component to retention of students. Participants noted misunderstandings with floor mates about finances and over-involvement with the floor as challenges, but deep, meaningful relationships encouraged participants during difficult times. The implications from the research indicate that intentional relationship building may prove a significant aspect to the retention of first-generation students.
Collins, Carey, "Home Away from Home: The Experience of First-generation Students Living on Integrated Floors in Residence Halls" (2020). Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses. 163.