Resiliency and the successful first-generation community college student: Identifying effective student support services.
Description: This study examined what differences in resiliency traits, if any, exist between successful and non-successful first and continuing-generation college students through the use of a survey. For the purposes of this study, first-generation students were those students whose parents have never attended college and continuing-generation college students were those students whose parents have attended some college. For the purposes of this study, the term successful was defined as those students who after being enrolled during fall 2005 re-enrolled for the spring 2006 semester and the term non-successful is defined as those students who after being enrolled fall 2005 semester failed to re-enrolled for the spring 2006 semester. A sample of 164 students was surveyed by collecting demographic data, resiliency traits, attitudinal characteristics, level of familial support, and reasons for dropping out of college. A sub-sample of 40 students participated in a face-to-face, in-depth interview. This study found that successful first-generation community college students possessed certain common qualities or resilient characteristics that include: 1) social competence, 2) problem-solving skills, 3) critical consciousness, 4) autonomy, and 5) sense of purpose. Through the face-to-face interviews common themes emerged. Many of the students used similar words to describe their feelings and experiences about beginning, continuing and withdrawing from college. Many of the first-generation college students expressed the lack of familial support once they enrolled. Common themes emerged for the continuing-generation college students in that each student was comfortable with the process of selecting a major, selecting courses to enroll in, and the amount of time they expected to devote to studying. The return rate for each of the four groups studied was limited and rigorous follow up efforts failed to increase the return rate. This is a fundamental limitation of the study, and the results can only be generalized to the institution studied. However, ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Parrent, Condoa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries