In the field of higher education, there is a growing recognition of the impact being a first-generation college student has on a student’s college experience and on their retention. It is estimated that 40% of today's college students identity as first-generation college students. These numbers mandate an in-depth understanding about their experiences. With dwindling numbers of traditional college age students, retention is a significant issue for colleges and universities so educating current and future administrators and faculty about the experiences of the diverse first-generation college student population is a matter of great urgency.
This panel will provide an in-depth exploration of the issues affecting first-generation college students on campuses across the country, and panelists will discuss the first-generation identity examined in their chapter contributed to “At the Intersection: Understanding and Supporting First Generation College Students” In attempting to answer the question “Who is a First-Generation College Student?” panelists will discuss issues related to race, class, gender, sexual orientation and how these identities intersect. Too often, first-generation college students are discussed monolithically. While there have been several articles written that explore the idea that students’ first-generation college status is just one aspect of their identity, albeit a very important one, this book explores the phenomena of the first-generation college student experience in more complex and representative ways.
learn about intersectionality;
understand how intersecting identities affect first-generation students; and
gain strategies to support support first-genreation college students.