The human spirit and higher education : landscapes of persistence in first generation students of color Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zp38wh82t

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  • The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of first-generation persons of color attending and persisting at a community technical college. Students of color continue to be an increasing population in our higher education system. Many of these persons of color are choosing to attend two-year institutions. A great deal of research has been conducted regarding student retention with minorities, dropout rates of minorities and higher education retention strategies for students of color, yet little research has been done on the attributes and factors that allow this population to persist in higher education. A phenomenological approach was utilized to examine the attributes, challenges and successes of first-generation students of color who were community college students. Nine first-generation students of color attending a community technical college in the Rocky Mountain region participated in this study. The student ranged in age from 20 to 49 years of age, had been enrolled at least half-time, and were attending the college for a minimum of one year. Data were collected through individual in-depth interviews and a focus group. Five main themes emerged from the data: 1) Internal motivation, 2) Belonging, 3) Finding financial support, 4) Finding success strategies, and 5) Confronting barriers and adjusting to college. Three factors were identified as a result of the study. (1) Students finding their own inner strength, spirit and resiliency assisted in persisting in community college. This allowed students they not only belonged in higher education but that they could succeed in the environment. (2) The interaction of the students’ persistence and their current family and support system dynamics. This allowed the students to improve relationships with family members which, in turn, improved persistence. (3) The collective sum of the main themes is the foundation and expression of Human Spirit and students began to operationalize Human Spirit, in spite of overwhelming circumstances, to persist in, and succeed in higher education.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-04-09T16:32:22Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 040510 Human Spirit and Higher Education FINAL SUBMISSION.pdf: 716747 bytes, checksum: c8ada766ce546b3e968d91b6ccb46927 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2010-04-12T17:54:23Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 040510 Human Spirit and Higher Education FINAL SUBMISSION.pdf: 716747 bytes, checksum: c8ada766ce546b3e968d91b6ccb46927 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Linda Kathman(linda.kathman@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-04-12T17:54:23Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 040510 Human Spirit and Higher Education FINAL SUBMISSION.pdf: 716747 bytes, checksum: c8ada766ce546b3e968d91b6ccb46927 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Cristobal Valdez (cris.valdez@minnesota.edu) on 2010-04-09T13:13:01Z No. of bitstreams: 1 040510 Human Spirit and Higher Education FINAL SUBMISSION.pdf: 716747 bytes, checksum: c8ada766ce546b3e968d91b6ccb46927 (MD5)

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