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    Unheard Voices: First Generation Students and the Community College


    Joyce, Colman (2015) Unheard Voices: First Generation Students and the Community College. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    First generation students are less likely to persist in college than their peers who have grown up in college educated families. This qualitative research study explores the experiences of 38 first generation students enrolled at four different community colleges in Northern and Central Oregon. During my research into first generation students, I became convinced that there was a gap in examining the lives and self-reported experiences of these students in the community college environment. The majority of first generation research has been conducted on traditional aged first generation students at four-year universities, and this research is used to inform practices at community colleges where the populations are markedly different. I chose to use the research methodologies of Narrative Inquiry and Phenomenology to examine first-hand the experiences of these students. In order to tell the stories of these students, I used Autoethnography to reflect upon my own personal experiences as a first generation student. The study sought to provide answers to the following questions: 1. How do first generation community college students balance the academic rigours of college along with the external responsibilities they have outside college. 2. What are those external and internal factors that affect the persistence of first generation students in the community college setting? The research was conducted using interviews, from which themes of shared experiences were developed. Some of these themes include factors that are tied to the success or persistence of first generation students, and provide unique insights into the lives of this population. The purpose of this thesis is to expose the lived experiences of first generation students attending community college. My hope is that this study will raise a greater awareness of the needs of first generation students and in turn improve practices in higher education.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Unheard Voices; First Generation Students; Community College;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 6517
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2015 16:27
    URI:

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