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Degree Name

MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)


Liberal Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terrence A. Tollefson

Committee Members

Richard E. Osborn, Russell F. West


First-generation college students from the Appalachian region may be at risk in terms of their successful transition from home to college and in their persistence to graduation. I investigated possible influences on the college experiences of a purposeful sample of 10 Walters State Community College students. Participants were of diverse ethnicity, included both genders, and ranged in age from 18 to 45 years. In-depth interviews were conducted to aid in a narrative study that explored their experiences and the obstacles they faced in the college environment.

Many of the findings of this study concur with the review of the literature in that socioeconomic and generational status play a role in Appalachian students' college experience. This study, unlike the review of literature, found that the families of many first-generation students not only recognize the value of a college education, but also fully support the academic endeavors of their college students.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.