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ERIC Number: ED516562
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 205
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-1422-7
ISSN: N/A
First Generation College Student Leadership Potential: A Mixed Methods Analysis
Hojan-Clark, Jane M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Cardinal Stritch University
This mixed methods research compared the leadership potential of traditionally aged first generation college students to that of college students whose parents are college educated. A college education provides advantages to those who can obtain it (Baum & Payea, 2004; Black Issues in Higher Education, 2005; Education and the Value of Knowledge, 1982; Glenn, 2004; Institute for Higher Education Policy, 2005). At risk students or students whose parents are not college educated (first generation college students) face significant challenges associated with accessing a college education and experience disadvantages or possess deficits upon entering college when compared to those students whose parents are college educated (Baum & Payea, 2004; Choy, 2001; Coles, 2002; Lohfink & Paulsen, 2005; Swail, et al., 2005; Terenzini, Spring, Yaeger, Pascarella, & Nora, 1996; Yaeger, Pascarella, & Nora, 1996). Limited research identifies assets that first generation college students possess (Pratt & Skaggs, 1989; Prospero & Vohra-Gupta, 2007). None reflect leadership attributes or potential as an asset that is possessed. However, research indicates that possessing leadership attributes or exhibiting such potential enhances their prospects for academic success and is an asset to college students (Logue, Hutchens, & Hector, 2005; Astin, Astin, & Associates 1999). This was a mixed methods study. It utilized a survey and interviews. This study analyzed the perceived types, tendencies for and experiences that may have contributed to the possession of, leadership attributes of traditionally aged first generation college students and compared these factors to those of students whose parents are college educated. The initial sample group consisted of 3,494 eighteen year old undergraduate college students who were admitted to and matriculated full-time at a large, public, urban, Midwestern university during the academic year of 2008-09. The survey questions utilized assessed the tendency and categories of leadership attributes or predictors described by three researchers (Zaccaro, Kemp, & Bader, 2004). The interview questions further analyzed the experiences that the respondents had that may have contributed to the possession of the identified leadership attributes. Findings revealed that first generation college students do possess leadership attributes at a significant level. This asset or quality that first generation college students possess, leadership attributes, can enrich their undergraduate experience, empower them and give them a greater sense of control over their lives. It may also counter the disadvantages the first generation college student and other at risk college students may face. This study has implications related to college access and retention of first generation and other at risk students. This study is significant because it focused on understanding traditionally aged first generation college students' leadership potential relative to that of students whose parents are college educated, a research area that has not been thoroughly examined in the past. Although there is empirical evidence that indicates first generation college students possess disadvantages or deficits (Baum & Payea, 2004; Choy, 2001; Coles, 2002; Lohfink & Paulsen, 2005; Swail, et al., 2005; Terenzini, Spring, Yaeger, Pascarella, & Nora, 1996; Yaeger, Pascarella, & Nora, 1996), this study concluded that first generation and other at risk students have assets--leadership attributes or skills. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A