Successes and Challenges of First-Generation College Students Integration
Successes and Challenges of First-Generation College Students Integration into Longwood University: LSEM Effectiveness in College Transition DAVID DAVINO, PH.D., LPC LONGWOOD UNIVERSITY FEBRUARY 1, 2017 FGCS vs. CGCS FGCS are more likely: Female (Choy, 2001) Ethnic/racial minority (Bui, 2002; Giancola, Munz, & Trares, 2008; Terenzini, Springer, Yaeger, Pascarella, & Amaury, 1996) Older than their peers (Bui, 2002; Giancola, et al., 2008) From larger families (Bui, 2002; Giancola, et al., 2008)
To work part-time (Choy, 2001) To come from a lower SES background (Bui, 2002; Giancola, et al., 2008; Terenzini, et al., 1996) More likely to leave college (Ishitani, 2006) First-Generation College Student Identity How strongly a student identifies as FGCS maybe dependent on the type of college/university attended (London, 1996) Students of color may not divulge FGC status even if very aware of this identity due to concerns about stigma (Orbe, 2004) Research Goals Determine barriers/obstacles
Strengths & Resources Evaluate efficacy of LSEM in helping their college transition Methodology Class Design Class designed with Vincent Tintos (1975) model of retention in mind -Added financial resources to model Students exposed to school resources (academic, social, financial) Experiential component to class Two One-on-One Meetings with LSEM instructors Methodology Quantitative Data
Demographic Information Collected Items on a 5 point scale Items grouped - Confidence - Perceived Knowledge Items measured efficacy of class (5 points scale) Open-ended questions (post) Methodology Qualitative Data Information collected in form of 1 page journals about their experiences at LU 8 total journal entries
Examined common themes paying particular attention to: Strengths/resources/resiliency Barriers/challenges LSEM Demographic Information 9 First year students, 1 Transfer student 9 White students, 1 Hispanic student 10 female students High School GPA range 3.1 4.2
Active in H.S. clubs/organizations, religious groups, and athletics 8 of 10 students worked part-time in high school 9 of 10 students working or plan on working in college part-time 9 students live on campus, 1 commuter student Results Level of Confidence Items Pretest Posttest +/Differential Understanding of citizen leader 3.30 3.60
0.30 Understanding of securing scholarships and student loans 3.10 3.60 0.50 Confident in my ability to manage my finances independently 3.20 3.50 0.30 Familiarity with campus traditions 2.90 3.80 0.90 Confident in my ability to write a paper 3.00
3.80 0.80 Able to study effectively and efficiently 3.50 3.50 0.00 Able to manage my time and maintain balance between academic and social life 3.80 4.10 0.30 Confident in my ability to perform research for my class 3.10 3.40 0.30
Confident in my ability to pick the right major 4.20 4.20 0.00 Confident in my ability to write a resume 2.50 3.00 0.50 Confident in my ability to search for jobs in chosen career path 2.80 3.33 0.35 Understanding of what I want to get out of my experiences at LU 3.40 4.00
0.60 Confident in ability to succeed at LU 4.00 4.10 0.10 Results Perceived Knowledge Items Pretest Posttest +/Differential Know who to contact for financial assistance 3.22 3.70 0.48 Know how to become a member of a student organization
3.67 4.00 0.33 Know how to join a social fraternity/sorority 3.33 3.40 0.07 Know the office to assist me in exploring careers and resume writing 3.44 4.00 0.56 Know the process of reporting a crime on campus 4.11 3.70 -0.41
Know the office to contact regarding plagiarism 2.89 3.40 0.51 Know resource to contact if have difficulty in writing papers 3.89 4.50 0.61 Know the resource to contact if need to learn to manage time more effectively 3.22 3.70 0.48 Know how to use library to research papers/put together presentations
3.44 3.90 0.46 Know the process of changing majors 2.11 3.50 1.39 Results LSEM Course Feedback Items Mean Score Increased my understanding of what it means to be a citizen leader 4.3 Increased my understanding of campus traditions 4.4 Increased my understanding of how to access academic resources on campus
4.7 Increased my understanding of how to access financial resources on campus 4.4 Increased my understanding of the social organizations on campus 4.2 Increased my understanding of how to be more successful at Longwood University 4.5 Results Strengths/Resources Optimism/Positivity Compassion/Caring Strong Social Support
Strong Work Ethic Personal Responsibility Importance of Family Results - Challenges Obligations to the family Feelings of guilt Lack of parental knowledge about college Excerpts from Journals about Challenges of FGCS Experience - The first would be the complete lack of knowledge about what to expect when the school year starts. I know I was scared, and the
fact that my parents couldnt offer the insight I needed made college seem more terrifying. - As a first generation college student specifically, its hard for my parents to relate what Im experiencing emotionally and socially, although I know that they are trying their best to help in every way possible. - Being a first generation college student, the majority of my expectations stemmed fro what Ive seen in movies and other media sources. I had many preconceived notions about college life that I have so far found out to be inaccurate, and in most cases that has been a good thing. Satisfaction with Longwood University Ability to form good friendships Small college environment Resources available for student success Helpful professors
Research Limitations Small sample size Lack of diversity within sample Self-selection Positive gains due to other potential factors Need for comparison groups Recommendations Class to assist w/FGCS transition Small class size
1 on 1 meetings Discussion-based classes Follow-up programming/outreach past the first year Involvement of parents in programming/outreach References Bui, K. V. (2002). First-generation college students at a four-year university: Background characteristics, reasons for pursuing higher education, and first year experiences. College Student Journal, 36, 3-11. Choy, S. (2001). Students whose parents did not go to college: Postsecondary access, persistent, and attainments. Findings from the condition of education, 2001. (Research Report No. NCES-2001-126). Retrieved from National Center for Education Statistics. Giancola, J. H., Munz, D. C., & Trares, S. (2008). First-versus continuing- generation adult students on college perceptions: Are differences actually because of demographic variance? Adult Education Quarterly, 58, 214-228. doi: 10.1177/0741713608314088. Ishitani, T. T. (2006). Studying attrition and degree completion behavior among firstgeneration college students in the United States. The Journal of Higher Education,
77, 861-885. doi: 10.1353/jhe.2006.0042. References London, H.B. (1996). How college affects first-generation students. About Campus, 1, 9-13, 23. Orbe, M. P. (2004). Negotiating multiple identities within multiple frames: An analysis of first-generation college students. Communication Education, 53, 131-149. doi: 10.10/03634510001682401. Terenzini, P. T., Springer, L., Yaeger, P.M., Pascarella, E. T., & Amaury, N. (1996). First-generation college students: Characteristics, experiences, and cognitive development. Research in Higher Education, 37, 1-22. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40196208. Tinto, V. (1975). Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research, 45, 89-125. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1170024.
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