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

ISBN: 978-0-470-47444-0
176 pages
July 2012, Jossey-Bass
First-Generation College Students: Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement (0470474440) cover image


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

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

About the Authors xxi

1. Who Are First-Generation Students? 1

2. Transition into College 21

3. Transition Through College 47

4. Class, Culture, Race, and Ethnicity 69

5. Transforming How We Work with First-Generation Students 85

6. A Holistic Approach to Student Success 105

References 129

Index 141

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Author Information

Lee Ward is director of Career and Academic Planning at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he founded the Student Learning Institute.

Michael J. Siegel is associate professor and director of the administration of higher education program at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a former research fellow at the Policy Center on the First Year of College.

Zebulun Davenport is vice chancellor for Student Affairs at Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis.

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