Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Studies



First Advisor

beth Powers-Costello


This study utilizes Pierre Bourdieu's concept of cultural and social capital as a theoretical framework to understand student persistence. The research design is a mixed-methods approach, using data collected through the Social and Cultural Capital Questionnaire and interviews with select survey participants. The sample includes seniors who entered college in the fall of 2008 and have persisted towards degree attainment. The selected research sites are small, religiously affiliated, private colleges located in the Southeast. A description of student experiences will be beneficial in reviewing each of the site's current retention efforts and developing plans for future students. Their experiences will show the effect, if any, a student's social and cultural capital has on ability to persist. The final aim of this study is to make practical recommendations and contribute to the literature on the concept of cultural capital as the framework for understanding student persistence on a college campus.


© 2012, Hardil Kay Banks