Rebecca D. Cox draws on five years of interviews and observations at community colleges, where she shows how students and their instructors misunderstand and ultimately fail one another, despite good intentions. Eye-opening even for experienced faculty and administrators, The College Fear Factor reveals how the traditional college culture can actually pose obstacles to students'success, and suggests strategies for effectively explaining academic expectations.
uccess in college is not simply a matter of students demonstrating academic ability. In addition, students must master the “college student” role in order to understand instructors’ expectations and apply their academic skills effectively to those expectations. This article uses data from focus groups to examine the fit between university faculty members’ expectations and students’ understanding of those expectations. Parallel discussions among groups of faculty and groups of students highlight important differences regarding issues of time management and specific aspects of coursework. We find definite incongruities between faculty and student perspectives and identify differences between traditional and first-generation college students. We argue that variations in cultural capital, based on parents’ educational experiences, correspond to important differences in each group’s mastery of the student role and, thus, their ability to respond to faculty expectations. The conclusion discusses the theoretical and practical implications of considering role mastery a form of cultural capital.
Drawing on her thirteen years of experience as director of Indiana University Bloomington’s Groups Program, which serves first-generation and low-income students, the author details the challenges facing fi rst-generation college students (FGS). She argues for the need for sourcebooks such as this one to educate higher-education personnel about the academic, cultural, and social experiences of FGS. Educating college and university personnel is the first step toward improving FGS’ college success, retention, and graduation rates.
Informed by Rosenberg’s (2003) concept of nonviolent communication, the author’s pedagogical perspective encourages educators to criticize institutional and classroom practices that ideologically place underserved students at disadvantaged positions. At the same time, this perspective urges teachers to be self-reflective of their actions through compassion as a daily commitment. The author suggests that this pedagogical approach helps teachers better counter institutional barriers and oppressive pedagogical practices that inhibit first-generation college students’ success.
The article presents author's views regarding teaching first-generation college students. Topics include developing better study habits in students and educating them about the resources; advocating students about graduate, scholarships, and internships program; and teaching students about how to navigate the college system.
The authors use relational dialectics theory to argue that first-generation college students (FGS) often struggle with a give-and-take tension between getting involved in campus life and losing their familial and working-class identity. They suggest that because FGS straddle two different cultures of academia and home, institutions must address these tensions to improve the students' retention and graduate rates.
"The author works as an academic adviser and adjunct instructor at a small, public, four-year university that provides the usual spread of bachelor's degree programs, as well as several master's degrees. He has done similar work at a private liberal arts college and at a branch campus of a large state school. He brings to this work not only a PhD in American studies but also experience teaching English in a Colombian high school for two years and teaching English as a second language in a language institute in Bogota, Colombia, for a year. At each of the U.S. institutions at which he has worked, administrators and faculty alike have worried about and studied first-generation college students, looking at specific academic and social challenges these students face and how best to ensure student success. In this article, the author looks at this concern about first-generation students from the perspective he has gained from working at a smaller, regional university and from teaching cross-culturally. Although faculty members and administrators invoke first-generation status to explain many of the academic problems they perceive, his experience suggests that social class and local social environment, particularly their respective effects on literacy, are just as crucial indicators of success. Class, in fact, may act as a multiplier to first-generation status."