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PSU McNair Scholars Online Journal

Subjects

Portland State University, First-generation college students -- Oregon -- Portland, Minorities -- Education (Higher) -- Oregon -- Portland, Minority college students

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to explore and understand the experiences of first generation minority students at Portland State University. First generation students are students whose parents have not earned a four-year degree or the equivalence of a bachelor’s degree in the United States. By looking at factors that contributed to college decision making process, such as family, peers, high school educators, and high school mentor programs, we can better understand how these factors influence students’ experiences. A qualitative analysis was used to assess the responses from 42 students collected through an online survey. This study looked at how these factors influenced students’ preparation and decision to pursue higher education. In addition to analyzing specific factors, some motivational themes that emerged from the data included family expectations, financial stability, and personal/career goals. The findings of this study indicate that if parents, students, and school educators are involved then the student develops higher college aspirations and transitions successfully into college. One overall theme in this study emphasizes the importance of tackling students as early as middle school age.

DOI

10.15760/mcnair.2014.1

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12671

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