Examining Conceptual and Operational Definitions of "First-Generation College Student" in Research on Retention

Author(s):
Peralta, Karie Jo; Klonowski, Monica
Publication Year:
2017
Source:
Journal of College Student Development

This research brief reports that students who have parents with little to no postsecondary education have an increasing presence in colleges and universities. Researchers recognize that these individuals face unique barriers in higher education programs that affect their ability to graduate. Given the wide concern about student retention, attention to this group of college students labeled "first-generation," is particularly important. The purpose of this article is to shed light on the extent of inconsistency between definitions of the concept "first-generation" college student in studies that are published in high-impact higher education journals.

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