Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Michael K. Vetter

Second Advisor

Dr. Grant S. Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. James D. Breslin


This study examines the influence of academic advising on first-generation student retention using secondary data via data from an online survey. Specifically, the researcher explored advising experiences to explain the retention of freshman first-generation college students from Year One to Year Two. A total of 1,716 freshman students during the 2017-2018 academic school year participated in this study. The survey's setting is a mid-sized, four-year public university in the Midwestern United States. The research questions seek to identify if first-generation students' status or self-reported data of academic advising experiences affect student retention during the critical first year of college enrollment. Logistic regression indicated a statistically significant association between first-generation student status and retention from Year One to Year Two. Further, logistic regression analysis determined that of the variance in first-generation student retention 74.6% was correctly classified. This study's findings help suggest enhancements for this historically vulnerable student population's student success and retention.