The purpose of this study seeks to elucidate the best practices for achieving first generation student success within the realm of higher education. First generation students experience challenges in obtaining student success at a higher rate than their multi-generational peers who possess larger reserves of social capital regarding higher education. A review of the literature identified obstacles to and methods to achieve student success. The review progresses with discussion surrounding how to transition students to college so that they achieve student success from the time of matriculation. Finally, the review identifies the ways in which first generation students may require additional support and resources to be successful and suggests ways in which social capital can be gained by this population in order to achieve student success. Through semi-structured interviews with higher education faculty and staff who are experts in the field of first generation student success data was gathered and coded to reveal larger themes that are representative of the best practices for achieving student success for the first generation student population.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

First-generation college students -- United States; College students -- Services for; Academic achievement -- United States

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Farzin Madjidi