Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Communication and Information



First Advisor

Dr. Brandi Frisby

Second Advisor

Dr. Chike Anyaegbunam


This study seeks to explore the relationship between intercultural communication experiences and college persistence in first-generation college students from the Central Appalachian region. Because Appalachia has a rich and unique culture, which is often misunderstood, the literature review seeks to establish a basis for studying this relationship as a way to understand the multi-dimensional nature of low-educational attainment in the Appalachian region, particularly Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Using a survey-based quantitative method this study examines Appalachian first generation students attending college as an intercultural communication process through the frame of acculturation theory. Specifically, the study seeks information about the students’ previous intercultural communication experiences, cultural identity, intercultural sensitivity, and college persistence. This study attempts to predict first generation, Appalachian students’ college persistence with their previous intercultural communication experiences, cultural identity, and intercultural sensitivity.