Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The School of Human Sciences and Education

Document Type



This qualitative case study was undertaken to understand the perspectives of first-generation, conditionally-admitted students, regarding how their participation in a college access program may or may not have contributed to their persistence at a Historically Black College and University. This study was grounded in Tinto’s (2012) Model of Institutional Action for Student Success, Schlossberg’s (1990) Transition Theory, and Astin’s (1984) Student Involvement Theory. This single case study was positioned at a university in the South, named Success State University for this research. The study included 5 female participants who participated in virtual interviews due to the unforeseen Coronavirus 2019 outbreak. Qualitative analysis was utilized to address and articulate the need for access programs on college campuses intended to aid the growing population of students who do not meet the regular admissions requirements, but have the drive and grit to gain access, persist, and become committed to their institution and its mission. All participants were first-generation college students who shared their unique experience as participants in the Journey2Success program. The participants in this study and their authentic experiences were necessary and deemed eligible for deliberations and discussions on expectations that should be met by institutions to (a) increase persistence, (b) retention (c) graduation rates, and (d) align with the overall mission of the institution. Findings confirmed that the implementation of the academic goals plan, in the first-year experience course, intrusive academic advising, peer mentoring, weekly reminders, motivational Mondays, coupled with tutorial services, ensured the participants in this study, were successfully equipped with basic knowledge, skills, and professional disposition to begin their second year of college and career exploration.



Committee Chair

Curry, Jennifer