Date Approved

2020

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Teacher Education

Committee Member

Toni Stokes Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wendy Burke, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heather Neff, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tsu-Yin Wu, Ph.D.

Abstract

Intergenerational poverty is a problem of immense concern within the African American community, where approximately 32% of children under the age of 18 reside in impoverished conditions. Although acquisition of a college degree is the sole determining factor most influential for social mobility of families in the lowest income bracket, only 10.13% of total degrees conferred in 2015-2016 were to African American students. Additionally, being first-generation and low-income, stressors are intensified and perpetuate cessation of enrollment in postsecondary studies. Utilizing a non-randomized sample, a causal comparative/quasi experimental analysis was conducted to evaluate whether African Americans, or students from low-income and first-generation families, had higher grade point averages, rates of retention, or degree attainment as members of the Eastern Michigan University Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program compared to peers who lacked program affiliation. Data showed no statistically significant differences in GPA or persistence in students who fit the sample criteria. However, a significant difference in undergraduate degree attainment was demonstrated in members of the Eastern Michigan University Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.

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