Thursday, November 12, 2015

Who's in First (Generation)

The term "first generation" tends to be thrown around a lot by educators and policy makers. But what does the term mean? Does a first-generation college student come from a home where neither parent earned a college degree? What if at least one parent graduated college? What if their parents attended college but didn't graduate? Does it matter if it's a biological parent that attended college or some other adult residing in their home? New research from the University of Georgia's Institute of Higher Education, presented last week at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, explores whether different definitions of "first generation" change (a) how many such students there are and (b) our understanding of how they fare in higher education. The answer to the latter question: not really. Regardless of how they're defined, first-generation students enroll and graduate at lower rates than do other students. But the definition has an enormous impact on the size of the population of students, the researchers found. Read the article...

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