Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Rogers, Elice

Subject Headings

Adult education -- Ohio, Education, Higher -- Ohio -- Administration, College freshmen -- Ohio, Urban universities and colleges -- Ohio, urban persistence higher education adult learning first-year freshman urban education college


Persistence from the first to second year of college can be challenging for students at urban institutions given that they face added pressures and unique situations preventing them from persisting beyond the first year of higher education. While first-year persistence in higher education has been investigated, very little formal research exists on persistence at urban institutions. To bridge this gap, a quantitative analysis of 395 students at two urban and two residential four-year public institutions in Ohio was conducted using the Social Integration and Persistence Intentions Scale (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1980) while exploring comprehensive factors such as students' pre-college and demographic characteristics, and institutional commitments through chi-square tests of independence and multiple regressions. The research question for the study asks: What factors impact the persistence of first-year adult learners in higher education from their first year to their second year of education? The findings demonstrated that persistence has a statistically significant relationship with ethnicity and race, hours working, living on campus, parents' education, and relationships with faculty. Additionally, attending an urban or rural university also has a statistically significant relationship with persistence. The conclusions from this study include important implications for higher education, adult learning and education, and urban education from the perspective of urban institutions

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