Term of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Digital Commons@Georgia Southern License


College of Education

Committee Chair

Juliann McBrayer

Committee Member 1

Antonio Gutierrez de Blume

Committee Member 2

Pamela Wells



In the 2015-2016 academic year, 56% of college students fit the federal government’s definition of first-generation college student status, meaning that neither parent has earned a baccalaureate degree. The success of this student population is crucial for institutional success. There are few studies which follow first-generation college students and continuing-generation college students longitudinally over six years at the same institution to examine graduation outcomes. This study utilized archival data at an access institution in the Southeastern United States in a causal comparative study using binary logistic regression analysis to determine if first-generation college student status, gender, socioeconomic status, and academic preparedness are predictors for six-year graduation rates. Findings from this quantitative study determined that gender, socioeconomic status, and academic preparedness were significant predictors for graduation within six years of matriculation at the institution. While findings from this study do not entirely align with prior research, a future qualitative study may provide context for the student experience and what factors influenced student success. These findings are intended to help administrators understand their student population and implement intervention strategies to increase graduation outcomes.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Sunday, March 19, 2028