Factors Affecting the Academic Persistence of Appalachian First-generation College Students




Hand, Christie

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This phenomenology examines the factors affecting the academic persistence of Appalachian first-generation student and the influence which academic support services has on their persistence. The participants were students from the Student Support Services program at West Virginia University. In a phenomenology, the themes need to flow from the data obtained from the research participants, rather than being presupposed by the researcher. The themes emerging from the experiences of these students were the importance of the family, financial concerns, the power of internal motivation, relationships and emotional support, the communication of information, and the influence of being Appalachian. Each of these has a significant impact on the students' academic persistence. It was found that their participation in academic support services, specifically Student Support Services, is instrumental in their persistence, not so much for the academic support, but because of relationships established.



educational anthropology, college students, persistence, first-generation college students, universities and colleges, Appalachian Region, academics


Hand, C. (2006). Factors affecting the academic persistence of Appalachian first-generation college students (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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