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Article

Sara Connolly

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of first generation peer mentoring experiences on retention, grade point average and students’ perception of their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of first generation peer mentoring experiences on retention, grade point average and students’ perception of their academic and leadership development.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilized a mixed methods approach. Focus groups and interviews were utilized to determine the reported leadership experiences of the mentors. Descriptive statistics were used to compare grade point averages and retention rates.

Findings

The study found peer mentors in residential life perceived an increase in leadership skills; including role modeling, time management, personal confidence, and problem solving. The peers were challenged in their roles, and perceived these challenges to help them to grow as leaders. When compared to their peers, the peer mentors experienced increased retention and similar grade point averages. The results indicated that peer mentoring experiences can be beneficial for the mentors who are first generation college students, even experiences that are particularly challenging.

Research limitations/implications

The biggest limitation to this study is the fact that this was a small sample, without a control group. A further limitation is that it was difficult to get students to participate in the study. Future research might examine peer mentoring experiences of first generation students on larger campuses or on multiple campuses to allow for a control group of first generation peers without a peer mentoring experience.

Practical implications

The results indicated that peer mentoring experiences can be beneficial for the mentors who are first generation college students, even experiences that are particularly challenging.

Social implications

Due to the potential for their success, these types of experiences should be expanded for first generation students, a group that is at a higher risk for drop out. Special attention should be paid to ongoing training in peer mentoring experiences, given the level of commitment by the mentors.

Originality/value

While other studies have examined the impact of peer mentoring on those that have been mentored, and a few have examined the impact of the experience on the mentors themselves this study extends the research by looking at first generation college students. This is valuable because first generation students continue to lag in their success in college and practical research on what can improve the student experience for this group is necessary.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article

Brian Wright

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between supportive campus measures and student learning outcomes for first-generation students and non-first

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between supportive campus measures and student learning outcomes for first-generation students and non-first generation students to determine if variances are present. A lack of social capital of first generation when compare to non-first-generation students is theorized to be a contributing factor driving differences between the two groups.

Design/methodology/approach

Research survey design using penalized regression methods to quantify differences between groups. The analysis used 10 years of student engagement data.

Findings

Final analysis showed that first-generation student outcomes had little to no significant connection with the administrative focused aspects of the campus environment as compared to non-first-generation that represented highly significant relationships. This results supports the theory that first-generation students may simply be unaware of how to leverage these resources do to social capital disadvantages.

Practical Implications

The result suggests that universities should reconsider first-generation programs to ensure that they have the capability to address first-generation students’ lack of social capital. The primary method by which social capital is generated is through networking or peer groups expansion. Consequently, first-generation students might benefit greatly from student mentors that are not first-generation students to help aid in the transition to college as compared to participating in programs that group and isolate first-generation students together.

Originality/value

Very few studies have attempted to use social capital as a theoretical framework to explain differences in how first-generation and non-first-generation student learning outcomes relate to campus engagement variables. Moreover, no studies have used both penalized regression and bootstrap validation in addressing this issue, making the study original in design and analysis.

Details

Information Discovery and Delivery, vol. 47 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6247

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Article

Terence Hicks and J. Luke Wood

Given that a relatively large percentage of college students entering historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are first-generation students and considering…

Abstract

Purpose

Given that a relatively large percentage of college students entering historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are first-generation students and considering the low completion rate among this group in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discipline, the purpose of this preliminary meta-synthesis study is intended to facilitate a greater understanding of the academic and social adjustment among college students, particularly first-generation college students enrolled in STEM disciplines at HBCUs. Therefore, this meta-synthesis will shed light and offer important recommendations for university administrators and faculty members in supporting the academic and social adjustment of these students in STEM fields at HBCUs.

Design/methodology/approach

This review of literature was conducted using a meta-synthesis approach (also referred to as integrative review). A meta-synthesis is based on a process by which findings across multiple studies are organized and presented (Turner, Gonzalez and Wood, 2008; Wood, 2010). This approach is used to provide insight to academicians and practitioners alike on the status of research on a given phenomenon (Bland, Meurer and Maldonado, 1995; Patterson, Thorne, Canam and Jillings, 2001; Wood, 2010). We engaged in a cyclical process of collecting, annotating, and synthesizing research over a 45-year time-frame (1970 to 2015). This produced over 50 cited resources with more than 100 scholars including peer-reviewed articles, reports, books, book chapters, and conference papers.

Findings

Factors present in the literature that affected students enrolled in a STEM program at a HBCU are grouped into three contexts: (a) first-generation academic and social characteristics, (b) first-generation college dropout and transition, and (c) first-generation STEM retention. Tables 2 to 4 provide these contexts by author and year of publication. Within these general groupings, four interrelated themes emerged from the literature: (a) prior academic performance and STEM discipline, (b) college adjustment and STEM discipline, (c) social integration and STEM discipline, and (d) academic integration and STEM discipline.

Originality/value

This information may help professors and university professionals in the STEM fields to be more aware of the challenges faced by incoming college students. More empirical work is needed in this area in a way that is useful for understanding and enhancing professors’ and university professionals’ knowledge. To this end, research that carefully describes what HBCU professors and university professionals know or their ideas about teaching college students, especially first-generation students enrolled in the STEM discipline, is needed.

Details

Journal for Multicultural Education, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-535X

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Book part

Rashim Wadhwa

Indian higher education system is supposed to be the source of equal opportunities to all students irrespective of their life circumstances. Does it succeed in realizing…

Abstract

Indian higher education system is supposed to be the source of equal opportunities to all students irrespective of their life circumstances. Does it succeed in realizing this ideal? In fact, the system of higher education inadvertently plays a critical role in constructing and recreating the inequalities between groups. The prime victims of inequality are first-generation students, whose disadvantages are unseen, their voices ignored. In India, first-generation students are typically confronted with the dynamics of caste-based inequality in addition to their deficiency in cultural and social capital. In this context, the purpose of this study was to examine the difference between who goes and who stops for higher education across generational status. Field survey data of 930 senior secondary students was employed as the basis for analysis. Findings of this study highlight that the gap between realization and planning is more in first-generation students as compared to their counterparts. Results of logistic regression indicate location, category, family income, academic achievement, stream of education, and social and cultural capital are pertinent factors that influence educational attainment of first-generation students.

Details

Perspectives on Diverse Student Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-053-6

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Article

Malar Hirudayaraj and Gary N. McLean

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the experiences of first-generation college graduates in the USA, as they transitioned from higher education into employment in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the experiences of first-generation college graduates in the USA, as they transitioned from higher education into employment in the private sector. First-generation college graduates are from families in which neither parent had a bachelor’s degree.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used phenomenology to gain an understanding of the transition experiences of first-generation college graduates employed within the corporate sector.

Findings

First-generation status influences the experiences of students beyond college and limits their awareness of and access to graduate employment. Lack of college education in the family affects the graduates’ career decision-making, familiarity with corporate culture and expectations, preparedness for the corporate sector and restricted access to people with the ability to ease their entry into the sector. These translate into transition outcomes such as starting at entry-level positions not requiring a college degree, delayed access to graduate-level positions, having to engage intentionally in additional efforts to reach graduate-level positions and potential to be discriminated against during the recruitment process, albeit unintentionally.

Research limitations/implications

Is first-generation status yet another structural contextual factor that influences career decision self-efficacy? Is the influence of FG status common across sectors? Longitudinal studies need to be conducted across sectors, regions and countries.

Practical implications

There is a need to sensitize faculty and career service staff to career-related challenges of first-generation students and for programs and policies that increase awareness of these students regarding professional environments and expectations. There are social justice implications for recruitment strategies and overcoming discrimination.

Originality/value

This paper explored first-generation college graduates’ experiences, an issue hitherto not explored in depth.

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Article

Erik M. Hines, Paul C. Harris, Renae D. Mayes and James L. Moore III

Little attention is given to black male experiences and decision-making process around college-going. A qualitative study (interpretive phenomenological analysis [IPA]…

Abstract

Purpose

Little attention is given to black male experiences and decision-making process around college-going. A qualitative study (interpretive phenomenological analysis [IPA]) was conducted using a strengths-based perspective to understand the experiences of three first-generation black men college students attending a predominately white institution. Superordinate themes include perceived benefits to attending college, barriers to college admission and attendance and influential programs and supports. Recommendations for school counselors helping black males are included.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a narrative approach to illustrate the stories and experiences captured by the three young men who participated in the study. Hays and Singh (2012) suggested using a narrative approach for telling the stories of marginalized groups. IPA (Smith, 1996) was the approach used to identify superordinate themes, because the authors wanted to better understand the participants’ K-16 experiences. As a qualitative approach, IPA provides detailed examinations of personal lived experiences on its own terms rather than pre-existing theoretical preconceptions.

Findings

The participants’ accounts clustered around three superordinate themes: perceived benefits to college, barriers to college admission and attendance and influential programs and supports.

Originality/value

Although there are studies that provide insight on the factors that impact first-generation, black men’s success in attending college, there are few studies that have used a strengths-based perspective to investigate key experiences that lead to college enrollment. Those experiences that lead first-generation black male to attend college are pivotal and provide insight into important points of intervention and support. School counselors and other educators can use these insights to inform practices and the creation of supports for black men in their respective schools.

Details

Journal for Multicultural Education, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-535X

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Article

Julie Renee Posselt and Kim R. Black

Undergraduate research experiences are associated with higher post‐baccalaureate enrolment rates for first‐generation students, but scholars have yet to develop…

Abstract

Purpose

Undergraduate research experiences are associated with higher post‐baccalaureate enrolment rates for first‐generation students, but scholars have yet to develop explanations for why this is the case. This paper aims to examine the experience of first‐generation undergraduate students.

Design/methodology/approach

Using case study methodology informed by grounded theory analytic methods, the authors qualitatively examine the experience of undergraduate research for ten first‐generation undergraduate students in the Ronald E. McNair Post‐baccalaureate Achievement Program, a faculty diversity programme funded by the US federal government located on almost 200 colleges and universities.

Findings

Students describe a recursive growth process that involved the acquisition of concrete skills, support from a cohort of their peers, mentoring relationships, and positive external recognition. By socialising them to forms of social and cultural capital that are valued in the academy, the programme cultivates the research identities and aspirations of participants. Students themselves develop a secondary habitus as well as a desire to challenge prevailing scholarly norms through their research aims and topics. Findings help refine Bourdieu's theory of reproduction in education and society for the context of American graduate education, for as students come to see themselves differently, they also see their futures differently and enrol in graduate education at higher rates than the national average.

Originality/value

This research is the first to examine how first generation students uniquely benefit from undergraduate research experiences.

Details

International Journal for Researcher Development, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2048-8696

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Article

Adriana Di Liberto

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the gap in reading literacy of young immigrant children in Italy and examine if this gap is significantly influenced by pupils…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the gap in reading literacy of young immigrant children in Italy and examine if this gap is significantly influenced by pupils’ length of stay in Italy and country of origin.

Design/methodology/approach

The author estimate a standard education production function where student test performance in language is modelled as a function of the native vs immigrant first- and second-generation status and a set of additional variables that control for students, schools and catchment area characteristics. In the analysis the author use the 2010-2011 school-year data for four stages of schooling: second and fifth grade/year of primary school, sixth grade of lower secondary school and tenth grade upper secondary school.

Findings

Results confirm the presence of a significant gap between natives and immigrants students in school outcomes for all grades, with first-generation immigrants showing the largest gap. Further, comparing the results between first- and second-generation immigrant students suggests that the average significant gap observed in the first generation is mainly due to the negative performance of immigrant children newly arrived in Italy. That is, for first-generation students, closing the gap with second-generation ones seems to be, for the most part, a matter of time. At the same time, the gap between natives and second-generation immigrants remains significant in all grades. Finally, when the author compare the results across the different years, it turns out that interventions at younger ages are likely to be more effective.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the availability of a rich set of controls, endogeneity issues may play a role in the analysis.

Practical implications

Results suggest that if the foreign children’s late arrival is the result of national migration policies on family reunification, the authorities need to carefully compare the possible benefit of delaying immigrant family reunification against the possible costs of students’ lower school performance.

Originality/value

Among economist, only few recent studies address the important question of whether the age at arrival and the length of stay in the host country matters for immigrants’ educational achievements. Moreover, while according to PISA 2009 results, Italy has some of the largest native-immigrant school performance gaps among OECD countries there are no studies that investigate this issue.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article

Xuefei (Nancy) Deng, Yesenia Fernández and Meng Zhao

The purpose of this study is to examine social media use and its impacts on first generation students by answering the two questions: how do FGS use social media on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine social media use and its impacts on first generation students by answering the two questions: how do FGS use social media on college campuses, compared to their peers? How does the use of social media affect their academic experiences?

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study adopted social capital theory as a sensitizing framework for understanding the social media (SM) use and the resources valued by first-generation students (FGS) and used a revealed causal mapping method to analyze the narratives of 96 informants to identify key constructs and linkages on SM use and perceived outcomes.

Findings

The revealed causal mapping (RCM) analysis revealed nine key constructs that shaped the SM use and academic experience of FGS and their peers. The linkages among the nine constructs: three types of social capital (bridging, family bonding and friend bonding), three types of SM use (social, cognitive and hedonic) and three outcomes (academic support, emotional support and distraction to work) were different between FGS and their peers. Among FGS, SM use and perceptions differed by gender.

Originality/value

Leveraging social media is critical for universities to enhance FGS persistence, yet knowledge remains limited. This study showed FGS differed from their counterparts in the SM use and perceptions. Among FGS, the SM use and perceptions differed by gender. The research contributions are: (1) SM technology can empower FGS by building social capital, impacting their academic experiences and psychological well-being and (2) the intersection of gender and student generation status is worth investigation. This paper enriches FGS research by proposing a model of SM use and social capital.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Book part

Carla Gonzalez, Jessica Graber, Diana Galvez and Leslie Ann Locke

In this study, the authors investigated the academic and social experiences of first-generation undergraduate Latinx students who participated in a Latinx student-focused…

Abstract

In this study, the authors investigated the academic and social experiences of first-generation undergraduate Latinx students who participated in a Latinx student-focused organization at a large, research-intensive, Predominately White Institution (PWI) in the Midwest. Our results revealed three major themes. First, participants considered the Latinx student organization to be a significant resource for their social integration into the university; however, it was less significant as an academic resource. Second, the participants recognized that while the university “tries” to promote diversity, they felt that the university could do more in promoting ethnic student groups and their interests across campus. Third, participants perceived that the university treats all Latinx students as one homogenous group, ignoring the diversity that exists between different Latinx groups. These themes suggest that efforts to make PWIs more diverse and inclusive may benefit from the formation and maintenance of minoritized ethnic student organizations. PWIs would also benefit by incorporating the diverse Latinx student perspectives into institutional diversity policy, and prioritizing higher-quality initiatives for greater visibility of Latinx student issues across campus. Moreover, programming that does not aggregate or homogenize Latinx identity, but embraces and values the multifaceted Latinx identities, would also benefit PWIs.

Details

Perspectives on Diverse Student Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-053-6

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 2000