Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Communication Studies and Theatre

First Advisor

Karla HUnter


First-generation college students possess barriers within academics that may be unique to the population. This thesis seeks to understand how instructors and advisors can use the memorable messages framework to encourage first-generation college students to attend graduate school despite barriers the students may possess. Thirteen first-generation college/graduate students were interviewed regarding their decisions to attend graduate school. Specifically, interviewees were asked if they received memorable messages from an outside source which encouraged them to pursue a master’s degree. A majority of participants stated they had received a particular message from either an instructor or academic advisor. These messages tended to be one of two types: action-oriented or encouraging messages. Implications based on findings are discussed, as well as directions for future research.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

First-generation college students.
Universities and colleges -- Graduate work.
Counseling in higher education.
Communication in higher education.
Faculty advisors.
Teacher-student relationships.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 75-90)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Included in

Communication Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright