FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS
"…a concise, manageable, lucid summary of the best scholarship, practices, and future-oriented thinking about how to effectively recruit, educate, develop, retain, and ultimately graduate first-generation students." —from the foreword by JOHN N. GARDNER
First-generation students are frequently marginalized on their campuses, treated with benign disregard, and placed at a competitive disadvantage because of their invisibility. While they include 51% of all undergraduates, or approximately 9.3 million students, they are less likely than their peers to earn degrees. Among students enrolled in two-year institutions, they are significantly less likely to persist into a second year.
First-Generation College Students offers academic leaders and student affairs professionals a guide for understanding the special challenges and common barriers these students face and provides the necessary strategies for helping them transition through and graduate from their chosen institutions. Based in solid research, the authors describe best practices and include suggestions and techniques that can help leaders design and implement effective curricula, out-of-class learning experiences, and student support services, as well as develop strategic plans that address issues sure to arise in the future.
The authors offer an analysis of first-generation student expectations for college life and academics and examine the powerful role cultural capital plays in shaping their experiences and socialization. Providing a template for other campuses, the book highlights programmatic initiatives at colleges around the county that effectively serve first-generation students and create a powerful learning environment for their success.
First-Generation College Students provides a much-needed portrait of the cognitive, developmental, and social factors that affect the college-going experiences and retention rates of this growing population of college students.
Keywords: Helping first-generation college students, guiding first-generation college students, understanding the place of first-generation students in higher education, challenges and barriers to first-generation student involvement in campus life, programmatic initiatives to engage first-generation students, the role of race and ethnicity, the impact of economic status and financial support, enrollment and persistence, and recommendations for future practice, as well as sections on first-generation college males and first-generation Latino college students, Student Affairs & Development (Higher Education), Student Affairs & Development (Higher Education)