First Year Residential Tradtional-aged College Students' First Semester Experience and it's impact on Social Identity
1 online resource (113 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
ABSTRACTNIESHA CHARISSE DOUGLAS. First year residential traditional aged college students' first semester experience and its impact on their social identity. (Under the direction of DR. LISA R. MERRIWEATHER)The needs of our society are not met when students fail to matriculate. Studies indicate that about 80% of four-year institutions graduate less than one-third of their first-time, full-time degree-seeking students within six years (Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh & Whitt, 2010). Research has documented the impact of the first-year experience (FYE) on matriculation, especially with regard to academic preparation. Research also indicates that attending college for the first-time places recent high school graduates in a pool of uncertainty and a field of responsibility. That uncertainty includes undergoing psychological and sociological changes. Researchers found that those changes also impacted matriculation. Social identity is one aspect of psychological and sociological change that has been under explored with respect to the FYE. The purpose of this study was to examine the first year, first semester experience of traditional-aged college students and to understand better how the first semester impacts their social identity. Brofenbrenners' (2005) Developmental Ecological theory was used as a framework to examine how the environment as defined by the microsystem, macrosystem, mesosystem and exosystems of the FYE influenced the social identity of first-year students. A phenomenological qualitative study was conducted to capture the essence of the experiences of FYS. Thirteen first-time residential traditional-aged college students between the ages of 18 and 19 were interviewed. Thematic analysis using a constant comparative analysis technique identified three major themes: Family Ties, Social Identification and Balancing College Life. Staying connected with family, identifying personality traits and juggling social and academic life are key to understanding social identity within the first semester of college. The findings suggest that colleges and universities should put more emphasis on programs that assist students with understanding how social identity is influenced within the new environment. A well-developed social identity may help to mediate the challenges of the FYE.
Butler, BettieWang, ChuangD'Amico, Mark
Thesis (D.Ed.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2014.
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). For additional information, see http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/.
Copyright is held by the author unless otherwise indicated.