Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Education

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Second Advisor

Dr. Darrell Groves

Third Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill


Attrition rates have remained at the breadth of significant concerns for higher education institutions. During the progression toward a graduate degree, countless students lose focus and “stop-out.” An unsuccessful practice in higher education is the lack of concentrated initiatives to retain graduate students and assist in providing resources to support persistence. Alas, graduate students are abandoned and forced to navigate programs in isolation. Therefore, this study examined the problem of persistence of students in graduate programs and the extent to which variation in such persistence may be influenced by: (a) demographic factors, (b) program advisement, (c) research advisement, (d) financial aid status, (e) student involvement and socialization, (f) family and peer support, (g) institutional physical resources, (h) student response to environmental distractions, (i) student response to academic structure, and (j) academic peer support. Additionally, the purpose of this study was to identify whether there was a significant relationship between persistence of graduate students at an urban research institution in the Southeastern region of the United States on selected variables, which may indicate factors for success in graduate program completion. This study attempted to discover the impact of variables on the persistence of graduate students toward degree completion. The objective of the research was to focus specifically on students engaged in graduate programs in pursuit of advanced degrees at the master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels at an urban research institution in the Southeastern region of the United States.

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