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According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (2013) 41% of students in four-year colleges and universities will not graduate. There are many reasons for this, including poor academics, low college/degree aspirations, poor study habits, uneducated parents, or coming from a small town. Although it is dependent on the student, Roberts and Styron (2010) found that students who do not become socially integrated oftentimes suffer from persistence issues, as they do not feel connected with the institution. My research examines the relationship between extracurricular involvement and student's satisfaction for first generation college students. First generation college students have what many researchers call a lack of "college knowledge", meaning they have limited information about college in general and are likely to have less access to information from college visits, online sources, and other information compared to their counterparts. First generation students are also more likely to have low academic self-efficacy, have lower achievement and have lower degree aspirations (US Department of Education 1998).
I hypothesize that extracurricular involvement of any kind, because of connections made with others, increases a student's chance of remaining at a university or the likelihood of remaining on campus. I believe that these students are more likely to be connected to the university and will be more knowledgeable of resources. The relationship between involvement and student's satisfaction for first generation students was tested through distributing quantitative questionnaire to first generation college students. For the first generation students surveyed, I found that extracurricular involvement of any kind increases a student's chance of being satisfied with their experiences. I also found that there was no relationship between involvement and students' likelihood of wanting to remain at the institution. Finally, I found extracurricular involvement creates stronger relationships with others on-campus (students/faculty).
Burbatt, Elizabeth, "The Impact of On-Campus Involvement in Student's Satisfaction for First Generation College Students" (2014). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 101.