Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Shani Beth-Halachmy

Second Advisor

Terry Jo Smith

Third Advisor

Diane Salmon


This qualitative study explored the first-year college experience of four first-generation Latinx college students and how they made sense of that experience. The participants were all graduates of a private independent high school in a suburban community, and research was conducted through interviewing the participants. Analyzing their perceptions garnered a deeper understanding of and insight into their lived experience in order to help develop strategies and programs to better support the enrollment, retention and graduation of first-generation Latinx college students. Study findings suggest that future practices at both the high school and the college level should include emphasis on providing culturally congruent outreach to parents, developing cultural competency in faculty and counselors, providing culturally responsive mentoring to students and their families, and including early exposure to the college process and financial aid information to better support these students in attaining their goals.