Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Ceceilia Parnther

Second Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Third Advisor

Sharon L. Hayes


Current persistence and completion rates have moved to the forefront in higher education nationwide. A new generation of Americans is on the rise: highly entrepreneurial, pluralistic, and determined to take charge of their own futures. There is a demand for colleges to provide more creative ways of serving and retaining students. Generation Z students, born between 1997 and 2012, compromise the population of traditional aged students, ages 18-24. This group compromises 26% of our population (Pew Research, 2018). Although completion rates at higher education institutions have been studied extensively, there is very little known on how Generation Z is fairing. The study is a quantitative study of first-year, full-time Generation Z and Y students attending a two-year public Higher Education institution located in New York. For the purpose of autotomy, the identity of the institution was changed to Suburban Community College. The study explored generationally relevant characteristics of retention and persistence. The purpose of this quantitative, Ex Post Facto research study was to analyze the performance of Generation Z as seen by their completion rates at Suburban Community College and compare them to the generation prior, Generation Y. Studies on Generation Z are still in their infancy. Generation Z are currently our traditional aged students and will continue to be until 2032. Comparing Suburban Community College data to the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the study aimed to determine if there are relationships between background, financial, parental and academic variables to completion rates between generations at Suburban Community College when compared to two-year institutions across the United States. To do so, a full model multiple regression analysis of graduation rates was predicted by using a Multinomial Logistic Model and the relationship of demographic, academic, financial, and parental variables to associate degree completion was assessed. As a result of the information derived from the research, the study has significant importance to higher education institutions across the United States by providing some insight on Generation Z students’ academic success and completion at Higher Education institutions indicating that there were differences between generation program choice and completion rates.