The article “Motivating Firs-Generation Students For Academic Success and College Completion” by Tanjula Petty describes the additional challenges first generation students have to overcome while attending college. A well-heeled diversity and world of opportunities are a few of the positive outcomes of attending college. According to Tanjula Petty (2014), “Yet, the most cited and widely used definition for first- generation students is someone whose parents has not completed a college degree”. Students whose parents did not acquire a college degree, have a lack of support at home. Their family members are not equipped to provide information required for college difficulties students may have. They lack knowledge and resources that students that students with college-educated parents have. The article states that these students are less psychologically prepared for college. Many low-income families do not understand the benefits of graduating from college. First generation students spend more time working and less time studying unlike their classmates. (Petty 2014) Coming from low-income families, many of these students have to divide their time between college and working. Leading students to prioritize money before school. Many work full time while going to school. Working more hours than studying can potentially harm students ' success.
Across universities throughout the United States, the presence of first-generation college students is on the rise (Stephens 1). Students whose parents do not have a degree of higher education, are being given the opportunity to shape their future for the better as they embark on a journey to receiving a four year degree unlike their parents who were not given such an opportunity. With the number of first-generation college students on the rise from the past, I became interested in seeing how the views, relationships, and ideas of these students was unique, and how they differed from the average student attending a university; an average student coming from at least a
Obtaining a degree remains one of the most important pathways to economic and social class in the United States (U.S.), regardless of rising tuition costs and the value of having a higher education coming in to question. Of the 20.6 million students enrolled in a college or university, first-generation college students represents about one-third (The Institute for Higher Education Policy, 2012). These group of individuals are more likely to encounter academic, financial, professional, cultural, and emotional difficulties (Sanez, Hurtado, Barrera, Wolf, and Yeung, 2007).
Inspiring and encouraging Chicano students to attend college, especially first generation students, has been a movement lead by many clubs, organizations, and by teachers who are passionate about their careers. Thus, “first generation students” is a term that states that a student does not have a record of previous generations attending college. Usually, students classified as such come from low income families as well as from poor neighborhood communities. That is to say, many of these individuals are also minorities such as African Americans and Chicano students. Also, public schools in low income areas tend to have poorly taught material in school. Consequently, there exists a direct correlation between race and poverty that portrays a
Tanjula Petty addresses challenges that first-generation college students face during their college career. Petty states that forty-three percent of first-generation students who attend post-secondary institutions leave college without completing a degree. The author examines two motivation theories explaining how each increases first-generation student academic success.
As a result, students and parents are starting to prepare for college much later than researchers recommend (Bell et al., 2009; Gibbons et al., 2006). According to research from Bell et al. (2009), students who attend schools with personnel dedicated to college guidance are more likely to feel confident about and familiar with the college application process. This finding is particularly significant, as first-generation college students report lower positive outcome expectations related to attending college, which can in turn impact their intentions, interests, and goals. Furthermore, with prospective first-generation college students reporting greater barriers related to college going, it is essential that counselors dedicated to college access are available to help raise positive expectations, as well as challenge negative expectations for this population (Gibbons & Borders, 2010). Although 65 percent of first-generation college students expressed interest in attending a four-year university in Gibbons et al.’s (2006) research, just 53 percent of all prospective first-generation college students were enrolled in college-preparatory courses. As a result, some counselors have started to realize how the rigor of classes is a systemic barrier
Being a first generation college student and the struggles that come from being a first generation student have shaped me as an individual. My parents immigrated from The Dominican Republic with no education, no hope, and just a dream of a better life. When I was born, my parents tried to give me the “American dream” to the best of their ability but growing up was still rough. My older brother and I were being raised in a low-income neighborhood where opportunities didn’t come to people really often, and crime was considered common. Instead of joining my peers in their lives of crime, I wanted to be the exact opposite. I wanted to prove to everyone that just you may come from somewhere where crime is common, and because your parents don’t have an education that you can’t better yourself – but I didn’t really
Being a first-generation student has had a big impact on my life in many ways. Learning from my parent's lack of higher education, I realized that attending college is invaluable in moving past the working class and seeking a higher level career. By using their failure as an example, I have become highly motivated to pursue my education further and have maintained a 3.8 GPA throughout my first year at this institution-- I plan to maintain the highest possible GPA I can.
First generation college students have a difficult time from the start. They may not have the guidance, backing and understanding given by families with primary understanding of secondary education. (Dynarski n. page) These students without this experienced support at home, have an increased drop-out rate.
It is a new chapter in my life being a first generation college student in which I'm having mix emotions of nervousness and excitement. I have this amazing opportunity to become independent and focus on my goals. San Francisco State has many organizations, clubs, and activities that I can involve in and wonderful people on campus. I imagine college to be an amazing experience in which I can learn who I am and I expect to meet wonderful people.
Molly Bang’s article “Nine Ways Colleges Should Support Underrepresented Students”, advised “remind students they are not alone.” If first-generation college students have a support system or a mentor, then they are more likely to be comfortable in high school to college transition rather than they feel overwhelmed and stress. However, there is a high chance that they will need financial assistance to pay school, housing, and expenses.
I have always been my own motivator and it has not always been easy. Being a first-generation college student meant going it on my own, making mistakes and learning from them. At the start of my college adventure I met Professor Michelle Field who introduced me to more than my love of Anthropology, but looking back she is now my inspiration to want to teach Anthropology. This was not something I knew coming into college, but some of the greatest things in life come together when you least expect them, you just have to be flexible. Moving to Bellingham to finish my undergraduate degree came at the most difficult time in my life only days after losing a parent, but Western Washington University became my new home and offered the fresh start I needed and the opportunity to continue to develop as a student that I so deeply craved.
A shift that tends to cause fear in individuals is that of transitioning from a secondary education and into a post-secondary education due to lack of awareness of what to expect plus having little or no knowledge about how to prepare for such drastic change. First-generation college students constitute those students that are first in their families to go to college, whose parents were unable to achieve any postsecondary education, bachelor 's degree, and had more than a high school education (Garcia, V. 2015; Garriott, P. O., Hudyma, A., Keene, C., & Santiago, D. 2015; Pascarella, E. T., Pierson, C. T., Wolniak, G. C., & Terenzini, P. T. 2004). On the one hand, first-generation college students have a challenging time adapting to the college experience due to not having any academic guidance from their relatives. Whereas second-generation students have the guidance and expertise of a family member in regards to post-secondary education. Thus, it is important to understand, which, among the two, takes an education more seriously, as well as whether the prior attendance of a relative or acquaintance changes the way an individual 's perception of education. Furthermore, the purpose of this study is to examine whether the social economic status and ethnicity play a role in the success rate of first-generation individuals who have no previous knowledge of a post-secondary education.
As a first generation college student, I found it quite difficult navigating through a four year institution during years I attended Northwestern State University. From the struggles of financial stability to the challenge of balancing school and personal life with little to no guidance, the journey through my collegiate career was quite troublesome to say the least. As an African American male with a father who was incarcerated, I already felt as if a stigma had been placed on me that I would succumb to the typical stereotype of multiple children out of wedlock and the distribution of narcotics as a primary source of income. With that in my mind and the hopes of my family on my shoulders, I set out and accomplished my goal of graduating from
However, a turn of events led me to Chaffey College, a place that has restored my hopes and motivated me to go even farther than I had originally planned. Being a first- generation college student is an important role I am fortunate to assume, however as I reflect on this significant title I have realized that it is not only I who bears the title, but my family as well. This step that I have taken, could not have been taken without the guidance and unconditional support of my parents and sister. It is with my family that I have come to share this amazing journey and important role with, because I have come to comprehend that being a first- generation college student means as much to my family as it does to