Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

Kenda Grover

Second Committee Member

Adam A. Morris

Third Committee Member

Naccaman Williams


Social sciences, College, Higher education, Mothers, Persistence, Poverty, Single parent, Women studies


Single parent mothers who are currently in poverty may find it difficult to find routes out of poverty and/or even to enrolling in college. Little empirical research has been conducted on low-income single parent mothers who attempt to enroll, persist and graduate college. The current research has shown that single parents are at a high risk of dropping out of college because of many barriers including poverty related issues. This study examined women who had at least one child or dependent, were in poverty, and were first time beginners in college. The purpose for conducting this study was to identify the relationship between poverty and degree completion, institution type, and persistence of single parent mothers in college. The study helped explain why single parent mothers leave higher education before completing their degree, and provided more insight into the issues that the nontraditional student subpopulation of single parent mothers are faced with while in college. The study used a Pearson r correlation to explain if degree completion, institution type, and persistence were influenced by poverty. This was completed by utilizing secondary data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study© (BPS:04/06) conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) from 2004 to 2006.