Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Joshua Tipton

Second Advisor

Cherie Gaines

Third Advisor

Jessica Taylor


As the number of rural, first-generation college students continue to rise, there was a gap in the literature regarding post-secondary enrollment and the self‑efficacy of these students who participated in asynchronous credit recovery in high school to complete a high school diploma. In this qualitative, narrative study, I examined how completion of an asynchronous online credit recovery program influenced the perception of self-efficacy or rural, first-generation college students regarding academic success and social-emotional preparedness. Nine participants from rural towns in South Georgia provided insight related to their perceptions of their experiences in credit recovery. All nine participants perceived positive influences on their self-efficacy regarding academic success such as the improvement of individual work habits. These students also perceived the experience helped increase their awareness of the benefits of academic success, as well as environmental factors that contributed to academic success. Participants perceived credit recovery had no effect on their interaction with their peers or participation in campus activities or campus involvement. Participants did perceive self-advocacy as a direct result of having participated in credit recovery and had a positive perception of their self-efficacy regarding social-emotional preparedness. Factors that affect the retention of rural, first-generation college students’ academic success and social-emotional preparedness and understanding the students' perceptions of their self-efficacy may lead stakeholders to have a better understanding of the needs of these students.


Credit recovery, Self-efficacy, First-generation college students, Rural students