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ERIC Number: EJ1076415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
First-Generation College Student Dissertation Abstracts: Research Strategies, Topical Analysis, and Lessons Learned
Banning, James H.
Journal of Education and Learning, v3 n2 p14-32 2014
First-generation college students are students whose parents or guardians did not obtain a four year college degree (Davis, 2012). As a group these students make up a large part of the college student population and are often reported to encounter difficulties in their campus experience. While the topic of first-generation student has received much attention over the past years, no research effort has been reported that examines dissertations on the topic. This article utilizes a bounded qualitative synthesis study framework to examine the 133 dissertation abstracts found by searching the ProQuest Dissertation and Theses™ digital database for dissertations abstracts from 2009 through 2013 using the search terms "first-generation college students" and "higher education." The research question for this study was: What can we learn from the examination of doctoral dissertation abstracts that focus on the experience of first-generation college students regarding research strategies, topics addressed, and lessons learned? The study's findings provide an overview of researcher attributes and the characteristics of the research in terms of methodology and topical focus. "Lessons learned" from the abstracts as well as the omissions in the research are presented. A major finding of the investigation was that very few of the dissertations have entered the academic conversation regarding first generation students--major books on the topic do not reference the dissertations and in a search of academic journals only three of the 133 dissertations were found to have been published.
Descriptors: First Generation College Students, Doctoral Dissertations, Documentation, Content Analysis, Synthesis, Search Strategies, Intellectual Disciplines, Research Methodology, Social Theories
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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