First Generation College Students


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  • (Higher Education Research Institute, 2007)
  • (Higher Education Research Institute, 2007)
  • First Generation College Students

    1. 1. Michelle Allen, Kinsely Baker, Christianne Beavers, Rebecca Avant
    2. 2. First-Generation College Students: A Definition For this presentation, a first-generation college student refers to one who neither parent has attended college. (Demetriou & Mann, 2011)
    3. 3. First-Gen Students within Racial /Ethnic Groups I( Since 1975, African Americans show the greatest decline; Hispanics are the most likely first-gen’s. (Higher Education Research Institute, 2007)
    4. 4. Parents=A Very Important Reason to go to College • Parents’ encouragement is a very important reason for both non-first-gen and first-gen students to attend college. • In 2005, the trend had reversed and showed first-gen students (47%) had reversed a trend over non-first-gen students (43%) for parental encouragement being very important in the choice to attend college. (Higher Education Research Institute, 2007)
    5. 5. Family Influence • Hsiao (1992) stated that ―parents, siblings, and friends who have no experience of college or its rewards may be non-supportive or even obstructionist.‖ • May begin journey alone. – First-generation students face the risk of alienation from family if they decide to attend college (Striplin, 1999). • Balancing two cultures: – Family and friends who have no college experience vs. being immersed in culture of attending college
    6. 6. Bryan & Simmons (2009), found that first- generation college students do not receive the same levels of support from their families as continuing-generation students, largely because of the family’s lack of knowledge about postsecondary education.
    7. 7. Family Influence • Support – Unconditional, Direct, and Indirect • Understanding – Lack of Knowledge from Parents • Motivation – Personal vs. Family • Goal Achievement – Personal vs. Family • Expectations – Either Higher or Lower Expectations Study conducted by Alexa Hodge, supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Mellin
    8. 8. Work Experiences and Expectations • Over half (55%) of first- generation college students expect to get a job to pay for college expenses. • First-generation students considered financial factors very important to college choice. • They were also more likely to have worked while in high school than non-first- generation students. (Higher Education Research Institute, 2007) I Percent Figure 3. Work Experiences & Expectations 60 55.1 50 First-Generation Non-First-Generation 40 41.5 36.7 45.0 30 26.0 20 20.8 22.2 15.0 10 0 1987 2005 1987 2005 Worked 20+ hours per week in last year of HS Very good chance: Expect to get a job to pay for colle
    9. 9. Home: An Important Influence • First-gen’s are likely to attend institutions within 50 miles from home • Close proximity an important reason for choice • Less likely to live on campus • Potentially less academic and social integration • Decision for close proximity driven by financial reasons (Higher Education Research Institute, 2007)
    10. 10. First-Generation College Students are more likely to: • be older • have lower incomes • be married • have dependents • enroll part-time • choose a two-year institution • choose a private, for-profit school • take remedial classes • say that they wanted to become more well-off and able to provide for their children • persisted and earned degrees at a lower rate • earned as much if a degree is obtained……. as compared to non-first generation students. • (National Center for Education Statistics, 1998)
    11. 11. Financial Obligations and Barriers Compared to traditional students, Terenzini’s (2005) findings indicated that first-generation students were more likely to:  Come from low income families  Have more dependent children  Have weaker reading, math, and critical thinking skills  Expected to take longer to complete their degree programs
    12. 12. Financial obligations and barriers Students often feel guilty that they cannot contribute financially to their homes because of their commitment to their education • FAFSA process: – Families are often confused about the process of applying for federal financial aid, which opens the door to grant and scholarship availability – Application is extensive and convoluted, and requires sensitive data
    13. 13. Financial Obligations and Barriers How do these challenges affect the college experience? – Low-income families have less to contribute to their student’s college costs Less family financial support leads to an increased likelihood of working while in school More time working = less time in the classroom or for studying
    14. 14. Academic skills First-generation students are often less prepared academically than non-first-generation students and have an elevated risk for academic failure (Terenzini, 1995)
    15. 15. Academic skills Compared to traditional students, Terenzini’s (2005) findings indicated that first-generation students were:  Had received less encouragement from their parents to attend college  Tended to take fewer courses in the traditional fields and more courses in technical and pre-professional courses  Spent fewer hours studying and more hours working  Were less likely to perceive faculty members as concerned with student development and teaching  Had less involvement with peers and teachers in high school  Have lower degree aspirations  More likely to require developmental coursework (Hodges, 1999)
    16. 16. Academic Skills How do these challenges affect the college experience?  Have weaker reading, math, and critical thinking skills Poor performance due to lack of skill development and lack of understanding/taking advantage of campus resources Loss of financial aid, feelings of frustration and helplessness to the point of quitting
    17. 17. Academic skills What can we do to academically support this population? Institutions must provide an array of programs and services to counteract the weaknesses and obstacles many of them face (Hsiao, 1992) – Methods and resources to navigate the bureaucratic nature of higher education institutions – Specialized outreach, tutoring, and mentoring programs – Bridge programs (for example- high school to college) – Effective orientation programs
    18. 18. Campus Programming • Roughly 30% of entering freshmen in the USA are first-generation college students • 24% — 4.5 million — are both first-gens and low income. • Nationally, 89% of low-income first-gens leave college within six years without a degree. • More than a quarter leave after their first year — four times the dropout rate of higher- income second-generation students.
    19. 19. First Generation College Students • Universities implement programs aimed at the Retention, Progression, and Graduation (RPG) of FGCS – Mentoring programs – Tutoring – Social Activities – Cultural Immersion activities
    20. 20. Georgia Southern University’s Minority Advisement Program • The Minority Advisement Program (MAP) is a unique college mentoring/success program for minority incoming students (a.k.a. MAPees) that match freshmen and transfer students with upperclassmen to assist with their acclimation to college life.
    21. 21. Campus Programming The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist: • low-income individuals • first-generation college students • individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs
    22. 22. Continued… • ETS-The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education. • Upward Bound- Serves high school students from low-income families; and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. • Most students transition from ETS and Upward Bound into the Ronald McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program
    23. 23. “The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.” ― Aristotle QUESTIONS???
    24. 24. ReferencesBryan, E., & Simmons, L.A. (2009). Family involvement: impacts on post-secondary educational success for first-generation Appalachian college students. Journal of College Student Development, 50(4), 391-405. Demetriou. C., & Mann, A. (2011). Encouraging first generation college student success. Academic Advising Today, 34(2). Retrieved from -Advising-Today/View- Articles Hodge, A. E. (ND). First-generation college students: The influence of family on college experience. (Master's thesis)Retrieved from Hsiao, K. P. (1992). First-generation college students. ERIC Digest, ED351079. Higher Education Research Institute. (May 2007). First in my family. HERI Research Brief. Retrieved from Generation%20Research%20Brief%20copy.pdf Multicultural Student Center. Minority Advisement Program. Retrieved April 2013. National Center for Education Statistics. (June 1998). First generation students whose parents never enrolled in postsecondary education. Retrieved from Terenzini, P. T. (1995). First-generation college students: Characteristics, experiences, and cognitive development. Proceedings from Forum of the Association for Institutional Research. Washington, D.C. Striplin, J. J. (1999). Facilitating transfer for first-generation community college students. ERIC Digest, ED430627. U.S. Department of Education. Trio Programs. Retrieved April 2013