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ERIC Number: ED561784
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 211
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-6073-9
First-Generation College Students' 1st-Year College Experiences: Challenges Attending a Private University
Reid, Josephine
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
First-generation college students (FGCS) face challenges when switching from high school to college and during their 1st-year in college. Additionally, FGCS may have difficulty understanding the steps required to prepare for and enroll in postsecondary education. The social capital theory examines support of social, academic, and cultural networks to assist students when switching from high school to college. These networks can enable colleges and universities to provide FGCS with a range of programs and services to counteract the weakness they bring to higher education. Guided by the social capital theory, this phenomenological narrative study explored students' perceptions influencing their advancement from high school to college, reasons for pursuing higher education, and 1st-year college experiences. Ten FGCS from a student support services program in the southeastern United States were chosen to participate in this study and they narrated their lived experiences in individual interviews. Data were analyzed using the thematic approach analyzing responses using the bracketing and horizontalization process. Themes that emerged were academic preparation, civic engagement, diversity knowledge, career planning, and college involvement. Data revealed FGCS did not have the tools needed for college success. Students faced financial hardships and had to rely on support from family and friends, part-time work, college work-study programs, and student loans. Universities, funding agencies, and educators are encouraged to provide additional support services, make curriculum changes to address social awareness, provide community service, and review policies to promote student success. These findings have positive social change implications for FGCS to increase social awareness and promote economic opportunities. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A