Capstone/Dissertation Title

How can incorporating self-advocacy skills improve retention rates and academic success among at-risk first-year students of color in higher education?

Term

Summer 8-14-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Laura Halldin

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kaj Vang

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Kyong Yun

Abstract

Despite increased enrollment of students of color in higher education within the last decade, the retention and graduation rates of this group remain minimal. Few studies have examined the relationship between explicitly teaching self-advocacy skills to at-risk first-year students of color in higher education as a means of retention. This study found implementation of a self-advocacy workshop series at the start of the school year to be effective in promoting and developing selfadvocacy skills among its participants. The findings also showed that all participants made satisfactory progress within their higher education institutions and were returning for a second year in college. Overall, promoting and developing self-advocacy skills among at-risk first-year students of color in higher education is crucial to their academic success.

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