Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jill A. Channing

Committee Members

Richard G. Rhoda, William F. Flora


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to investigate community college student perceptions of academic advising for 12 first-time first-generation (FTFG) General Studies students attending a rural southeastern community college. The phenomenological research approach was utilized to better understand participant experiences by exploring participants' perceptions through their lived experiences. Applying purposeful sampling techniques, five females and seven males were identified, with 11 classified as full-time students and one classified as part-time. One-on-one interviews and focus group were conducted in-person or virtually, using Zoom and Microsoft Teams, with each participant to better understand student perceptions of their initial academic advising perceptions regarding feelings of being unprepared socially and academically, academic advisor connections and attributes, increased engagement in advising activities, and student success from the on-boarding process through graduation. The data collected revealed students took more responsibility for their education, were better equipped to communicate with an advisor, resulting in stronger connections, were better prepared to use college resources and tools, resulting in more intentional and meaningful conversations, and all of these factors led to overall student success. The findings of my research can be used to strengthen institutional policies and procedures, as well as to improve the academic advising experiences of first-generation community college students.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.