Date Approved

6-25-2020

Embargo Period

6-26-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Second Advisor

McCombs, Tyrone

Third Advisor

Tinnin, Andrew

Keywords

First-generation, Master's degree, persistence

Subject(s)

First-generation college students; Graduate students

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

First-generation college students are a heavily researched student population who are represented as being first in their family to go to college and graduate. Scholars suggest there are many barriers impacting their college accessibility, affordability, retention, and overall success, therefore, have called for specific services and interventions of support within higher education to help first-generation students persist. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of first-generation students who do persist and pursue advanced educational aspirations. Specifically, first-generation master's students are the subject of this phenomenological study designed to explore the experiences of eight students through one-on-one interviews. The data of this research adds to scholarly work on first-generation students to better understand persistence after graduation and recommends best practices, services, and opportunities of support for first-generation master's students at Rowan University.

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