The cultural capital of first generation community college students is crucial to their college persistence. Research that underscores cultural wealth is often overlooked in higher education research. Contrary to a deficit oriented approach that focuses mainly on what first-generation students' lack, this study concentrated on the strengths, knowledge, abilities, and skills students possess to succeed in college. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of family, institutions, and people in helping first-generation students use and build cultural capital to meet their personal, career, and academic goals. A convenient sample of 15 first-generation student participants and 1 advisor from a southern California community college was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed, and analyzed. Transcript analysis produced 5 major themes: (a) Pushing Agents, (b) Accountability Promotes Student Persistence, (c) Career Aspirations, and (d) Pivotal Programs and People in High School. The most salient finding, Pushing Agents detailed the far-reaching affect that family, institutions, and people had on the participants' higher education experience. Pushing agents were a positive factor that frequently, constantly, and intimately pushed participants to carry out their aspirations. In conclusion, participant interviews revealed numerous strengths, assets, and abilities that allowed them to accomplish their personal, career, and academic goals.
|Advisor:||Locks, Angela M.|
|Commitee:||Murray, John, Vega, William|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education, Behavioral psychology, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Cultural capital, First-generation, Southern California, Student persistence|
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