Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Delores E. McNair

First Committee Member

Jacalyn Griffen

Second Committee Member

Betsy Keithcart


In China, low-income and first generation college students in private institutions are faced with adversities which undermine their educational outcome. Since the previous researches are mainly deficit-focused, the researcher conducted an investigation which put emphasis on the students’ successful educational outcome in order to round out the knowledge of this problem. The researcher employed a qualitative multiple case study to explore how three students accomplished educational resilience despite their hardships. The researcher findings suggested that: 1) Internal locus of control, career and academic planning, financial aids, job-related experience, and rational occupational aspiration contribute to students’ educational success; 2) The primary risks that the low-income and first-generation college students undergo in private college are lack of social connection, psychological maladjustment and financial hardships; 3) The protective factors offset the risk and produce educational success; 4) The protective factors contribute to educational resilience by interacting one another. The findings have implications for national policy makers, college administrators and teachers. Future studies are suggested to include students of public institutions and explore the interaction between internal and external protective factors by conducting quantitative design.