Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Paul Bylsma

Academic Year



The first-year transitional period of community college students is a pivotal time for determining students' persistence and retention in higher education, particularly for first-generation college students (FGCS) who are the first in their families to pursue higher education. FGCS often belong to underrepresented racial or ethnic groups and may come from low-income backgrounds (Lopez, 2016). Although community colleges are enrolling 40% of first-year FGCS, these students are four times more likely to drop out early on compared to their White peers (Beard et al., 2023; Lopez, 2016; Suzuki et al., 2012). The “open access” mission of community colleges has oftentimes created challenges as they strive to serve and support the diverse needs of first-year FGCS on their campuses. Consequently, there is growing evidence that early intervention supportive programs have a significant impact on incoming FGCS as they navigate their first-year transitional experience (James & David, 2012). In line with this, researchers have identified various challenges, including academic skills (such as study skills, time-management, and communication skills), sense of belonging and integration, and navigating campus resources and support (such as financial aid, academic advising, and basic needs) (Alamuddin & Bender, 2018; Beard et al., 2023; Lopez, 2016). Various models and theories have helped guide the understanding of the transitional process and its impact on FGCS. For this reason, the proposed program aims to support first-year FGCS in navigating campus resources, enhancing their sense of belonging and integration, and equipping students with essential academic success skills. Community colleges must continue addressing the increasing transitional demands to better prepare their students through this transitional period. The proposed program will be tailored specifically for first-year FGCS called College Success Bootcamp 101 (CSB101). This summer program will assist FGCS in learning how to navigate campus resources, understand the significance of belonging and integration within the campus community, and develop an academic success toolkit that will help them in their academic studies. To achieve the desired objectives, the CSB101 program will feature presentations, various discussions, and worksheets designed to meet the transitional needs of FGCS.