First-Generation College Students: Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement

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9780470474440: First-Generation College Students: Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement
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FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS

"...a concise, manageable, lucid summary of the best scholarship, practices, and future-oriented thinking about how to effectively recruit, educate, develop, retain, and ultimately graduate first-generation students."
from the foreword by JOHN N. GARDNER

First-generation students are frequently marginalized on their campuses, treated with benign disregard, and placed at a competitive disadvantage because of their invisibility. While they include 51% of all undergraduates, or approximately 9.3 million students, they are less likely than their peers to earn degrees. Among students enrolled in two-year institutions, they are significantly less likely to persist into a second year.

First-Generation College Students offers academic leaders and student affairs professionals a guide for understanding the special challenges and common barriers these students face and provides the necessary strategies for helping them transition through and graduate from their chosen institutions. Based in solid research, the authors describe best practices and include suggestions and techniques that can help leaders design and implement effective curricula, out-of-class learning experiences, and student support services, as well as develop strategic plans that address issues sure to arise in the future.

The authors offer an analysis of first-generation student expectations for college life and academics and examine the powerful role cultural capital plays in shaping their experiences and socialization. Providing a template for other campuses, the book highlights programmatic initiatives at colleges around the county that effectively serve first-generation students and create a powerful learning environment for their success.

First-Generation College Students provides a much-needed portrait of the cognitive, developmental, and social factors that affect the college-going experiences and retention rates of this growing population of college students.

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Praise for First-Generation College Students

"Who students are when they start college does not dictate how much they can benefit, provided they take advantage of the myriad learning opportunities institutions offer. This book is replete with informative insights into the invisible minority we call 'first-gen students' as well as the policies, programs, and practices institutions should use to help them succeed."
George D. Kuh, Chancellor's Professor of Higher Education Emeritus, Indiana University

"Unnoticed and often poorly understood, first-generation college students now comprise nearly fifty percent of students on many college campuses. In this book Ward, Siegel, and Davenport offer great insights and practical suggestions on how higher education leaders can create a more welcoming, supportive, and inclusive experience for these students to succeed."
Jeffrey R. Docking, president, Adrian College

"Critical to our survival in a global economy is the selection, development, retention and graduation of creative college students. First-Generation College Students is both timely and essential for those interested in understanding the next generation preparing for college and the ways in which institutions might anticipate, and therefore avoid, habits that invite failure instead of graduation. The authors' work experiences, coupled with their cited research base, situate them uniquely to contribute intentional survival strategies to the sometimes unanticipated realities of today's college students."
Zach Kelehear, associate dean for Academic Affairs and professor, College of Education, University of South Carolina

"Long overdue, this book provides a comprehensive perspective of the unique issues facing first-generation students as they transition in and out of college. It is an important contribution to higher education during a time when faculty, staff, and administrators face heightened pressures to retain and graduate all students in a timely fashion."
Cynthia Wolf Johnson, associate provost, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

From the Inside Flap:

"...a concise, manageable, lucid summary of the best scholarship, practices, and future-oriented thinking about how to effectively recruit, educate, develop, retain, and ultimately graduate first-generation students."
—from the foreword by John N. Gardner

First-generation students are frequently marginalized on their campuses, treated with benign disregard, and placed at a competitive disadvantage because of their invisibility. While they include 51% of all undergraduates, or approximately 9.3 million students, they are less likely than their peers to earn degrees. Among students enrolled in two-year institutions, they are significantly less likely to persist into a second year.

First-Generation College Students offers academic leaders and student affairs professionals a guide for understanding the special challenges and common barriers these students face and provides the necessary strategies for helping them transition through and graduate from their chosen institutions. Based in solid research, the authors describe best practices and include suggestions and techniques that can help leaders design and implement effective curricula, out-of-class learning experiences, and student support services, as well as develop strategic plans that address issues sure to arise in the future.

The authors offer an analysis of first-generation student expectations for college life and academics and examine the powerful role cultural capital plays in shaping their experiences and socialization. Providing a template for other campuses, the book highlights programmatic initiatives at colleges around the county that effectively serve first-generation students and create a powerful learning environment for their success.

First-Generation College Students provides a much-needed portrait of the cognitive, developmental, and social factors that affect the college-going experiences and retention rates of this growing population of college students.

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