This collective volume fills an important gap in first-generation college student research by simultaneously achieving several important goals. Collectively, the essays represent a balance of personal narrative, qualitative, and quantitative approaches that extend our understanding of the first-generation college student (FGS) experience. The essays review the existing literature on FGS; outline the barriers to college success faced by FGS; update the existing literature by introducing new and cutting-edge first-generation research; and recommend solutions to those in the trenches, who include support staff who design programs to support FGS.
The book's contributing authors bring important personal and scholarly expertise to the project. The authors include faculty, administrators, support services personnel, and former students at private liberal arts colleges, major research universities, community colleges, and comprehensive universities in urban and rural settings. The diverse perspectives represented in the essays will benefit administrators and staff working at diverse types of institutions with FGS. In addition, many of the authors were first-generation college students. Socio-economic background profoundly shapes a person's cultural transition into college and heavily determines what barriers to academic success he or she will face. This collection's authors have a keen understanding of the FGS experience having made the transition into a foreign academic culture themselves.
The book's essays address the following topics of concern of staff who interact with FGS:
- Understanding classism in the academy and class segregation on campus
- Race, ethnicity, class, and immigration as they impact FGS' campus experiences
- Insight for developing successful first-generation support service programs
- FGS' emotional, academic, and cultural adjustment to campus life
- The role of support groups in shaping the first-semester FGS college experience
- The importance of mentoring in aiding FGS' cultural transition to college
- The impact of a FGS' living situation (such as in a campus living-learning center) on academic and cultural transition