Date of Award
© 2022 Kaycee Leigh Gnatowski
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Academic advisors are an integral part of the undergraduate college student experience. Primarily recognized as one of the first connections to an institution that a college student encounters, academic advisors provide students with guidance, support, resources, and mentorship throughout a student’s academic journey at the institution. Although academic advisors are found to have a profound impact on a college student’s academic and social development, persistence to degree completion, and retention rates at the institution, many undergraduate college students are unable to socially integrate with academic advisors, primarily during a student’s sophomore year of college. A student’s sophomore year of college is found to be one of the most crucial times in a student’s academic career, and it is unknown what factors influence a student’s perceived social-self efficacy (PSSE) and ability to socially integrate with academic advisors during this critical period in their academic journey. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological research study was to explore the factors that influence student PSSE and ability to socially integrate with academic advisors during a first-generation undergraduate student’s sophomore year of college. A conventional four-year, public higher education institution located in Maine was the setting for this transcendental phenomenological research study. This research study was guided by the following research questions: (1) From a first-generation, sophomore year undergraduate student participant perspective, what lived experiences have influenced their perceived social-self efficacy (PSSE) beliefs? (2) How do first-generation undergraduate college students feel their lived experiences have influenced their ability to socially integrate with academic advisors during their sophomore year of college? The data collected from the nine shared lived experiences of study participants were analyzed through thematic analysis to discover patterns, commonalities, and themes amongst the collected data. The revealed themes from the data analysis process were representative of both research questions and were grounded in internal & external social support systems, social relationship with academic advisor, sociocultural influences, lived experiences in high school, lived childhood/adulthood experiences, perception of self, and institutional resources. The results from this transcendental phenomenological research study found that a student’s PSSE was predominately shaped during the lived experiences encountered in high school. Results also found that being a first-generation college student influenced a student’s PSSE and ability to socially integrate with academic advisors during a student’s sophomore year of college, as well as a student’s perception of self. Additionally, results found that a student’s first year of college provided an instrumental path for social integration during their sophomore year. With current relevant literature on the college student sophomore experience being limited, data from this transcendental phenomenological research study can be used to assist other higher educational professionals in understanding the factors that influence student PSSE and their ability to socially integrate with academic advisors during their sophomore year of college.
Gnatowski, Kaycee Leigh, "Exploring Factors Influencing First Generation Undergraduate College Students’ Perceived Social-Self Efficacy (PSSE) And Ability To Socially Integrate With Academic Advisors" (2022). All Theses And Dissertations. 407.