Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Shauna M. Cooper


First generation and low income college students experience unique achievementrelated barriers not typically experienced by their counterparts whose parents attended college and/or are of higher socioeconomic status (Hahs-Vaugn, 2004; Kahlenberg, 2004; Mortensen, 2003; Prospero & Vohra-Gupta, 2007). Academic enrichment programs that target first generation and low income college youth are one strategy that has helped to address these concerns. To extend literature in this area, the current study sought to identify factors that may be promotive of and/or barriers to first generation and low income youths’ achievement-related outcomes. Furthermore, this investigation sought to explore whether an academic enrichment program, namely the McNair Scholars Program, was associated with these youths’ achievement outcomes after accounting for promotive/barrier factors. McNair impacts on first generation and low income students’ outcomes were also explored. In the current study, it was found that 1) family support and campus climate were associated with first generation and low income youths’ academic self-concept, 2) performance & strategy feedback and campus climate were associated with academic self-efficacy, 3) family support was associated with educational expectations, 4) McNair was significantly related to academic self-concept and academic self-efficacy, above and beyond the variance accounted for by barrier/promotive factors, and 5) McNair scholars had significantly higher GPAs after participating in McNair. Conclusions and relevant implications are discussed.


© 2016, Melanie Avery