Facing COVID-19 at School: First-gen students persisting through college during a Pandemic
Virtual Live Briefings Student Success
February 16, 2021 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
It is essential to understand how first-generation college students (FGCS) are impacted by COVID-19 and the extent they can persist through graduation. The presenters will share mixed-methods data on the extent FGCS are persevering during the pandemic, identify new and existing barriers they are facing, and facilitate a conversation around meaningful support for FGCS during this time.
On January 21, 2020, the Washington State Department of Health confirmed the nation’s first case of COVID-19 (Inslee, 2020). Less than two months later, university officials from across the U.S. suspended face-to-face classes and moved instruction to a virtual platform. By mid-March, universities faced an unfathomable mass exodus of students from campuses. These university-wide closures prompted a collaboration between researchers and college administrators to assess the impact of COVID-19 on first-generation college students (FGCS) across six universities: Bucknell University, Florida A&M University, Rowan University, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Pittsburgh.
In Fall 2020, the research team received 584 completed surveys and 24 interviews from FGCS located across five universities. In this presentation, Dr. Davis will use the data from the mixed-methods study to explore the following two research questions: (1) What does college persistence to graduation look like for FGCS living through the COVID-19 pandemic? And, (2) How, if at all, does COVID-19 exacerbate already existing barriers? The end of the presentation will be reserved for troubleshooting ideas on supporting FGCS during and after the pandemic.
- assess the extent FGCS are impacted by COVID-19 in school; and
- discuss the varying supports FGCS will need during and after the pandemic.
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