First Advisor

Leslie B. Hammer

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors




College freshman -- United States -- Attitudes, College dropouts -- United States -- Prevention, Academic achievement -- United States -- Evaluation, Students -- United States -- Social conditions, College student development programs -- United States -- Analysis




For students, the first year of college holds with it specific challenges. This honors thesis describes elements of and provides valuable insight into the college student’s journey, relative to their first-year experience. The largest portion of this thesis focused on review of literature pertaining to institutional support and college retention. This denotes the relationship between each consumer of higher education and the multitude of options from which they can choose to invest in to begin pursuit of their degree. Because of the varied relational aspects between institutional support and retention, also reviewed was literature aligned with efficacy of systems and efficacy of self. Upon review of the literature, perspectives melded into an effective contention to address the research question: How does institutional support lead to first-year college student retention? Conclusions have stipulated that institutional support is redefined based on diverse student populations in an effort to more formally nurture student engagement, college success and enhance retention rates. These conclusions aligned with procurement of useful information and measureable [sic] outcomes, inferences thereof are duly noted in the latter part of this text. The journey through the literature review and the processes affiliated with producing this thesis proved life-altering. The results and conclusions thereof are an honor to share with each who reads this text.


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