Student success perceptions from 2-year and 4-year first and second-generation college graduates

This qualitative study focuses on two cases studies, the perceptions of first and second-generation college graduates from a four-year public college who transferred from a two-year public college regarding family, social, institutional factors and influences during their collegiate experience. The first case study had one male and one female, first-generation college graduates, as did the second parallel case study, of second-generation college graduates. The examination of data based upon sequenced interviews and document analysis revealed findings that give distinction to specific types of student engagement that were influenced by institutional characteristics. The development of themes specific to each case study, including similarities and differences, document critical variables and interactions that affected student success and achievement. Major findings include overall themes that highlight the evidence of first and second-generation college graduates were most influenced by during their college experience specifically with navigating the institution, the requirements and the influence of college faculty and staff and the value placed on education by the participant and those within their inner sphere of influence.