This ethnographic case study examined college pathways of rural, first-generation students. Current research primarily examines factors predicting rural students’ college aspirations, participation, and completion. This study examined why and how such factors influenced students in a rural, high-poverty county and explored how rural culture influenced pathways. The study found that attachment to family significantly influenced college-going decisions and behaviors. Families provided support necessary for high aspirations, college-going, and persistence. Students’ decision to leave, return, or stay was difficult given this attachment; yet, lack of economic opportunity affected decisions also. Cultural legacies influenced college-going. Schools, communities, and peers were also relevant. Given the importance of family, institutional, state, and federal policies and practices must involve families and replicate family support models.
Beasley, S. (2016), "Country Roads Take Me …?: A Cultural Analysis of College Pathways among Rural, First-Generation Students", Paradoxes of the Democratization of Higher Education (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Vol. 22), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 127-163. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0196-115220160000022005Download as .RIS
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