ERIC Number: ED383369
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar-1
Facilitating Retention and Transfer for First Generation Students in Community Colleges.
Rendon, Laura I.
In general, students attending two-year colleges are nontraditional students; i.e., first-generation, studying part-time, employed while attending college, from lower socio-economic status (SES) levels, or having poor high school achievement records. Attrition rates for first-semester two-year college students have been estimated at over 67%, with attrition highest for nonwhite students and those with low SES. Two critical phases affect the retention of first-semester students: making the transition to college and making connections in college. The first phase can be especially difficult for those students who are the first in their families to attend college, as they must often deal with changing identities, being perceived as different, leaving old friends behind, breaking family codes of unity and loyalty, and living between two worlds. Further barriers to retention can be student related (e.g., low SES, poor academic preparation, or a lack of clear goals) or institution-related (e.g., a eurocentric curriculum, lack of faculty involvement with students, or a campus climate perceived as racist or indifferent). Efforts at restructuring community colleges to increase nontraditional student retention should keep culturally diverse learners at the center of restructuring; create conditions for optimal learning, focusing on collaborative learning and infusing the curriculum with multicultural perspectives; diversify faculty and staff; and designate transfer as a high institutional priority. (KP)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Access to Education, Community Colleges, Diversity (Institutional), Educational Improvement, First Generation College Students, Hispanic Americans, Minority Groups, Multicultural Education, Nontraditional Students, School Holding Power, Student Attrition, Transfer Students, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.
Note: Paper presented at the New Mexico Institute, Rural Community College Initiative (Espanola, NM, March 1, 1995).