Publication Date

Summer 5-16-2019

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


The purpose of this study was to examine the interactions between peers who identify as first-generation college students at the University of San Diego. Thus far, research regarding first-generation college students has shown that those students who have increased interactions with other first-generation students experience increased success during their time in college. This study sought to examine which specific characteristics of these interactions facilitated or enhanced the success of those students. This study also sought to examine how higher education professionals can better serve first-generation college students through the programs and services which they provide. The results of this study suggest that support, encouragement, and the opportunity to share knowledge are key characteristics which drive first-generation student success at the University of San Diego. Recommendations include facilitated opportunities for students to share knowledge, formal and structured mentoring program, and foundation education about the first-generation student identity.