Graduation Date

Spring 2017

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Education

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Eric Van Duzer

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Mary Dingle

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Students navigating their sophomore year can expect to declare a major, narrow their career options, and find their purpose as a college student. Also, during this time students can experience the “Sophomore Slump”, a time where students encounter dissatisfaction, confusion and uncertainty with college. Due to the well documented experiences of first-generation college students, this study examines the experiences of first-generation and continuing-generation students experiencing the “Sophomore Slump.” Through quantitative and qualitative methods occurring over spring and fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters the results identify areas where first-generation students experience challenges in relation to the “Sophomore Slump” to a greater degree than their continuing-generation counterparts. Recommendations are made to provide support for academic success of first-generation college students, during their sophomore year.

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