First- Versus Continuing-Generation Adult Students On College Perceptions: Are Differences Actually Because of Demographic Variance?

Giancola, Jennifer Kohler; Munz, David C.; Trares, Shawn
Publication Year:
Adult Education Quarterly

The profile of students is changing, with an increase in first-generation and adult students. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in college perceptions between first-generation and continuing-generation adult undergraduates while controlling for demographic variables. The study and hypotheses are grounded in the Model of College Outcomes for Adult Students. It was hypothesized that first-generation students would report higher importance and lower satisfaction scores on the following variables: instructional effectiveness, academic advising, registration effectiveness, campus climate, safety and security, academic services, admissions and financial aid effectiveness, and service excellence. The results revealed that sex (more females) accounted for variance between first- and continuing-generation students on importance. There were no differences regarding satisfaction. With a higher number of female adult and first-generation students, higher education should better examine how to meet these students' needs. Recommendations for future research and practical implications are provided.

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