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ERIC Number: ED561450
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 248
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-5403-5
The Perceptions They Carried: First-Generation College Students and First-Year Communication Courses as a Site of Transition
Pagnac, Susan Beth Peterson
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Iowa State University
First- and second-year communication classes play an important part in a student's first year of college, a year that is critical to student success because it helps students develop "the college student role" (Collier and Morgan 425). One group of first-year students at risk for struggling with developing "the college student role" is first-generation college students. Like most students, first-generation students harbor certain perceptions about and expectations for college; however, these perceptions and expectations can have a negative impact on a first-generation student's first year of college. This dissertation reports the results of a primary study of first-generation college student participants, their perceptions about college and their generational status, and how that generational status impacts the first- and second-year communication classroom experience. First-generation students transition to college differently than continuing- or second-generation college students even though the process of disequilibrium, self-authorship, and self-efficacy they undergo may bear many similarities to those of continuing-generation students. However, negative perceptions, expectations, assumptions, and fears carried to college with them can also weigh them down, making experiences that cause disequilibrium more difficult and self-authorship and self-efficacy less likely to occur. Only through learning to self-author and solve problems can students learn to be successful in college, and for first-generation college students, the types of disequilibrium, self-authoring, and self-efficacy experiences dramatically impact this process. Through examining a few classroom-level and institutional contexts, we can see different ways to further work with these students in communication classes. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A