Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Andrea Kayne


Literature exploring first-generation college students is evolving to include the often-missed lived postsecondary experiences of first-generation immigrant college students of color. Research delving further into the nuanced postsecondary aspirations and experiences of those college students of color who are both first-generation and from an immigrant background is limited. College students of color whose parents did not complete a four-year postsecondary degree and are part of an immigrant family have historically pursued U.S. higher education as low-income and marginalized while balancing personal and family aspirations of social mobility. Research has shown that a leading catalyst in pursuing higher education for this population of students is the hope, or American dream, that higher education may improve their entire family’s socioeconomic status. This study will expand the scholarship that addresses access and choice for first-generation immigrant college students of color to four-year postsecondary institutions by developing an applied strategic plan supporting their four-year postsecondary pursuits. Contemporary studies have recognized the need to forge new models for evaluating and supporting college choice, recognizing the need to intentionally undertake the varying layers that influence the postsecondary decision-making of students of color who inhabit the space of first-generation and immigrant. This strategic plan will incorporate theoretical models that draw upon integrated economic and sociological perspectives that consider postsecondary decisions to be determined by a system of values and beliefs, anchored in race, ethnicity, and class, shaping a student’s views and interpretations. This study also seeks to provide a comprehensive strategic model for growing the enrollment and affinity for first-generation immigrant students of color to attend four-year postsecondary institutions.