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

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Juliann Sergi McBrayer

Committee Member 1

Antonio Gutierrez de Blume

Committee Member 2

Pamela Wells


Students at risk of attrition, such as First-Generation College Students, require the immediate attention of college administrators. A better understanding of the pre-entry attributes with the greatest influence on predicted attrition within First-Generation College Students’ first year may aid administrators in proactively reaching out and aligning resources for these students before they make the decision to leave the university. This study employed a nonexperimental quantitative ex post facto research design using archival data at one large, public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution located in the southeastern region of the United States. The researcher used binary logistic regression to examine the predictive effect of key pre-entry attributes on First-Time, Full-Time, First-Generation College Students’ (n=1,589) likelihood of attrition at the institution. Pre-entry attributes included family background information (parent’s highest level of education), student skills and abilities (student’s earned high school grade point average, SAT scores, and ACT scores), student prior schooling (student’s earned Advanced Placement credit, earned Dual Enrollment credit hours, and beginning cohort, also known as beginning term of enrollment), and student sociodemographic characteristics (student status of residency, legal sex, race, and age at time of enrollment). Findings revealed that high school grade point average, age at the time of enrollment, race, and beginning cohort term were all significant predictors of First-Time, Full-Time, First-Generation College Student attrition during their first year of higher education. Findings align with those identified in the literature and provide institution administrators with essential information to strategically allocate and align resources, provide adequate outreach, interventions, and ongoing supports for First-Time, Full-Time, First-Generation College Students.

Research Data and Supplementary Material