One of the most overwhelming issues at Eastern Kentucky University is academic retention. In 2013, Eastern had a four-year graduation rate of 23.5%. Each university has a goal to keep academic retention as high as possible. EKU has one of the highest rates of enrollment from students of the Appalachian region, an area of Kentucky that is diverse both ecologically and culturally than other regions of the state. EKU is also known among its students for being a “suitcase school,” a college or university that is active Monday through Friday, but is quiet on Saturday and Sunday due to students heading home for the weekend. This “suitcase” issue could be a result of familial tethering, which is linked to lower university connectedness and lower academic performance, and may be more prevalent among students from an Appalachian culture. A study was conducted to explore possible factors that may influence higher familial tethering (and, thus, more instances of the campus being “suitcased” on the weekends), and an analysis was conducted to see if Appalachian students are more likely to be be tethered to home, and whether familial tethering affects academic retention and performance.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2016


Jonathan S. Gore

Mentor Professional Affiliation


Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




IRB Approval Number (if applicable)