Understanding High-Achieving, First-Generation Student Success
NACADA 2013 Poster Session
Melissa L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Focus Group Interview Guide
Welcome Statement / Statement of Subject:
I would like to talk to you about your experiences as an honors student who is first in your
family to attend college. I would like to know what you have experienced as a member of both of
these groups and how this experience has impacted you as an undergraduate student at the
University of Florida.
Explanation of the Rules:
There are no wrong answers to the questions we will discuss today. Feel free to discuss your
ideas in an open environment, and participation is completely voluntary. We do ask that you
keep the information discussed today confidential, and not to share other participants’ answers
outside of this group. This focus group will be tape-recorded in order to assist with data analysis,
but your information will be kept confidential as stated on the consent form you just signed.
Please respond to each other during the discussion, but try to talk one at a time so we can
accurately interpret who’s speaking on the recording. (start recorder)
At this time, we would like to do a voice check on the recorder. Please go around the table and
state your first name (real or pseudonym) for the recorder.
Thank you. Now I would like to ask you a few questions.
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us when you knew that you were going to go to college.
1. Think back to high school – who or what was influential in your preparation for college?
1. What contributed to your decision to come to UF?
2. Did you feel academically prepared to succeed at UF? Why / why not?
3. What has been challenging for you at UF? How did you overcome these challenges?
4. Do you feel these challenges have been unique to you? Or do you see them in
friends as well? Explain.
5. How has participation in the Honors Program impacted your learning in college? How
about your sense of belonging in college?
6. How do these identities impact how you experience college?
7. What are your long-term academic and career plans?
1. What recommendations do you have for further supporting high-achieving, first-
1. What were the major themes / ideas we have discussed here?
(Ask one of the participants to outline the major points discussed during this question)
1. Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience at UF?
Thank you for your participation (stop recorder)
Focus Group Guide developed by Melissa L. Johnson, Ph.D. and Leslie H. Pendleton, University
of Florida. Licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC