Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

As a college education is becoming more crucial for career placement in today’s economy, more individuals with diverse backgrounds are seeking a higher education. An increase in first-generation college students is one significant change in college demographics. These students who are the first in their families to attend an institution of higher education face academic, social, and mental/emotional challenges that students whose parents or elder siblings did attend college may not face. The current study had three objectives. The first was to create an assessment to measure college readiness. Secondly, an intervention program was created to address potential barriers to success in college. Thirdly, using a pre/post-test format, it was hypothesized that the intervention program would create changes in participants’ attitudes and beliefs about college. Due to low reliability of the measure created in this study, no significant changes in attitudes were reported. However, qualitative data from open-ended survey questions suggest efficacy of the intervention program. The model employed here, which includes an undergraduate student as the instructor of the intervention program, should be modified and replicated to help high school students who are the first in their families to attend college better understand potential challenges in higher education, and adopt effective tactics to attend to such barriers.