Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Laila McCloud

Academic Year



When studying first-generation college students in higher education, research suggests that they are at higher risk of dropping out than any other marginalized group. This is often due to the challenges first-generation college students face. Dealing with the burden of family and survival guilt, financial insecurity, and other factors, first-generation college students struggle to create a sense of belonging on their college campus. These issues affect their persistence, retention, confidence, and mental health, causing a decline in academic performance, and campus involvement. The implementation of a first-generation summer bridge program provides first-generation college students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their campus community. In doing so, first-generation college students will have the opportunity to be exposed to campus resources, network with faculty/staff and other current students, and prepare themselves for the academic rigors of college. Once completed, students will be able to create a sense of belonging and confidence and be provided with a space of vulnerability and support.

Available for download on Friday, May 02, 2025