Empirical studies have examined first-generation college students, individuals whose parents have not attended college. Their personality characteristics, cognitive development, academic preparation, and performance have been topics of research. However, there appears to be little in the literature exploring the motivation of these individuals to seek higher education. The purpose of this study was to conduct a phenomenological examination of the desire to attend college among first-generation Hispanic students enrolled in the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, a federally funded TRIO program designed to increase the attainment of terminal degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society. As there are few studies examining students enrolled in the McNair Program, this research offers insights regarding the desire for advanced higher education among these individuals.
One-hour taped interviews were conducted with five volunteer participants enrolled in the McNair Program at a Texas university designated as a Hispanic-serving institution. Meaning units and constituents were extracted, and a general structure was developed using the descriptive phenomenological method (Giorgi, 1985). This general structure resulting from the phenomenological analysis confirms the impact of postbaccalaureate programming and identifies the roles of resilience, previous success, awakened awareness, comfort in the academic environment, a need to contribute to others or to society, a break with tradition, a process of self-discovery, and the influence of valued individuals in facilitating a desire for higher education.
|Commitee:||Cloonan, Thomas F., Greening, Tom|
|Department:||Humanistic & Transpersonal Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Bilingual education, Psychology, Hispanic American studies, Higher education|
|Keywords:||College, First-generation, Higher education, Hispanic, McNair program, Phenomenological|
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