This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

First Generation College Students in the Alabama Community College System: Outcomes and Implications for School Counselors and Educators




Renee, Maegan

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Enrolling in and completing college can be especially challenging for first generation in college (FGC) students. The purpose of the present quantitative study was to investigate the demographic and academic characteristics of FGC students and non-FGC students in Alabama. The study also included identifying the factors that mediate FGC students’ success outcomes in the community college setting. Logistic regression analysis were used to examine the demographics among a sample of 85,544 students enrolled in the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) as first-time freshman during each fall semester from 2012 to 2016. Results indicated that FGC students attending community colleges in Alabama are more likely to be female, of low socio-economic status determined via Pell Grant eligibility, and required to take remedial mathematics and English courses in comparison to their non-FGC students counterparts. Additionally, this study found as FGC students age increases the odds of completing a community college degree or certificate and of transferring to a four-year college decrease. Other variables that decreased FGC students odds of completing a community college degree or certificate included being members of the following categories: male, minority race, or remedial mathematics or remedial English required. Lastly, FGC students of low socioeconomic status who attended high schools with a free/reduced lunch percentage of 51% or higher and were required to take remedial mathematics or English exhibited a decreased likelihood for transferring to a four-year institution. Implications for school counselors, college counselors, and educators to better understand and potentially improve FGC students’ success outcomes are discussed following the presentation of the results.