The First Ones: Three Studies on First-Generation College Students

Longwell-Grice, Rob; Adsitt, Nicole Zervas; Mullins, Kathleen; Serrata, William
Publication Year:
NACADA Journal

The findings from 3 qualitative research studies related to first-generation college students show themes of strains in family relationships and lack of practical familial support. One study reveals sources of resiliency and persistence of graduate students; another explores sense of belonging for undergraduates attending 3 types of private institutions; the final study features concerns of Latinos at a 2-year college. Together these studies show that creation of a student identity creates unique challenges for those transitioning into bicultural persons. Advisors who understand students coping with changing family status while attending college can proactively guide them toward the degrees they seek. Furthermore, administrators should provide programs and professional development that help advisors address the complex issues facing first-generation students.

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