Ashley Benson, Ph.D. is a 2020 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Benson at her Dissertation Defense.
L-R: Dr. Jon Wergin, Committee Chair, Dr. Elizabeth Holloway, Committee Member, Dr. Michael Stebleton, Committee Member
- Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Michael Stebleton, Ph.D., Committee Member
Higher Education, persistence, educational opportunity, community cultural wealth, psychological safety, retention, positive psychology, college students, TRIO
This dissertation serves as a counter-narrative to the standard deficiency model in published research that characterizes most first-generation college students as feeble and unequipped when it comes to thriving in, persisting in, and graduating from college. This is one of the few studies that examines the success of first-generation college students from the students’ perspective. First-generation college students who graduated from college participated in a Delphi study that addressed this question: What factors influence first-generation college students' ability to graduate college? Three rounds of data collection resulted in ten themes, roughly in order of importance based on feedback from study participants: Self Starter, Financial Support, Finding a Passion, Social Network, Self-Development, Cultural/Identity Development, Family, Campus Resources and Programs, Work, and Service. The dissertation concludes with three sets of recommendations for improving outcomes of first-generation college students, aimed respectively at secondary school personnel, college officials, and first-generation college students themselves. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and OhioLINK ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/etd.
Gray Benson, A. C. (2020). An Exploration of Factors Influencing First-Generation College Students' Ability to Graduate College: A Delphi Study. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/552