Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Robin Hurst, Ed.D., Associate Professor, School of Education

Second Advisor

James McMillan, Ph.D., Professor, School of Education

Third Advisor

Reuban Rodriguez, Ed.D., Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Fourth Advisor

David Naff, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation, School of Education


Guided pathways mobile applications are one technology-based tool that colleges and universities have implemented in an attempt to educate and guide students through the myriad steps necessary to matriculate, integrate and successfully graduate from their institution at scale. Using Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and capital, Astin’s model of student involvement and Tinto’s model of student integration as a conceptual framework, and building upon the work of Slanger et al. (2015), this study investigated if the Educational Stress scale score from the College Student Inventory (CSI) can act as a measure of student habitus. In addition, this study used institutional data sets to investigate the relationships between habitus, first-generation student status and the utilization of the Navigate Student guided pathways mobile application on the matriculation, attempted credits and percentage earned credits for 4,771 first-time freshmen accepted to a large, public, high-research university in 2019.

Results indicate that first-generation college students had higher Educational Stress scale scores, were less likely to matriculate, attempted fewer credits, earned a smaller percentage of credits, and utilized the guided pathways application more than continuing-generation students. These preliminary results indicate that further research is warranted on utilization of the Educational Stress scale score as a measure of student habitus, as well as on usage patterns of the guided pathways mobile application and resulting impacts. Recommendations for further study are introduced.


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