An Abstract of the Dissertation of Melissa Goyait
Melissa Goyait for the degree of Doctor of Education in Higher Education
Presented on Date: March 21, 2022
Title: Persistence of Low-Income First-Generation College Students from Rural
Name: Marcel Lebrun, Pd.D.
Dissertation Committee Chair
The purpose of this mixed methods study was to determine how protective
factors, specifically sense of belonging and self-efficacy, impacted persistence of low income first-generation college students from rural communities (LIFGRS). Furthermore,
analysis from these data were compared to previous research studies to examine how
institutional practice might foster self-efficacy and sense of belonging among LIFGRS to
help them persist beyond the first year of college. Analysis from these data were
compared to previous research studies to unveil how institutional practice can foster self efficacy and sense of belonging among LIFGRS to help them persist beyond the first year
of college. This research study found that a combination of internal (sense of belonging
and self-efficacy) and external (resources) protective factors operated in unison to enable
LIFGRS to persist beyond their first year of college despite the barriers they have faced.