Publication Date

Fall 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Nukos Mourtos; Kathleen McConnell; Eric Bishop


This study aimed to determine the percentage of first-generation college students enrolled at California Community Colleges and examine their experiences through a culturally engaging lens using a mixed-methods approach. The research was interested in determining what percentage of community college students hold first-generation college student status using the federal definition of the term, understanding to what extent those students found their campus environments to be culturally responsive and relevant to their needs and what insights some of these students could offer regarding their experiences. The researcher surveyed and facilitated a focus group discussion with students throughout the Bay Area geographic region to assess students' perceptions and experiences. The data collected indicated that first-generation student status as defined by the federal government is more prevalent in California Community Colleges than previously reported and that, generally speaking, find their campuses more culturally engaging than their non-first-generation counterparts. However, there were only statistically significant differences between firstgeneration and non-first-generation college students concerning their perceptions of their campus' cultural relevancy as defined by the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments Model of College Success.

Available for download on Saturday, September 20, 2025

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