ERIC Number: ED539775
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov-15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
Assets First Generation College Students Bring to the Higher Education Setting
Garrison, Nancy J.; Gardner, Douglas S.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference (Las Vegas, NV, Nov 15, 2012)
This qualitative research explored first generation college students (FGCS) from a holistic perspective. The study investigated students' personal assets and provided the field of higher education an alternative to the pervasive deficit-orientation of this under resourced population. Psychological capital (Luthans, et al., 2006), framed within positive psychology theory was the conceptual framework; and suggests psychological well-being can be enhanced through the identification and use of personal strengths. Other research has linked well-being to enhanced performance. Grounded theory methodology and appreciative inquiry were used to conduct three qualitative interviews of female, first generation college students. The data revealed that the first generation college students in this study have the following personal assets: proactivity, goal direction, optimism and reflexivity. There were 13 contributing strengths that supported the asset development: resourcefulness, strategic thinking, self-reliance, practical realism, flexibility, persistence, positivity, hopefulness, self-confidence, insightfulness, compassion, gratitude and balance. The development of the students' assets was influenced by their lived experience and occurred in response to their marginalized socio-cultural positioning. The participants described long and varied use of their assets, through flexible curricula and reflexive assignments. Implications based on the study's findings suggest higher education institutions could provide faculty development and augment student services to recognize first generation college students' assets. Instructors could likewise help students identify and use their assets in order to promote well-being and enhanced performance. Finally, students could become attuned to their unique assets and strive to increase mindful use of their strengths.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah