Empirical studies have examined first-generation college students, individuals whose parents have not attended college. Their academic preparation, cognitive development, personality characteristics, and first-year 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. This study examines the desire to attend college among first-generation Hispanic students enrolled in a post-baccalaureate achievement program designed to increase the attainment of terminal degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society. The descriptive phenomenological research method (Giorgi, 1985) was employed with participants in a Texas university designated as a Hispanic-serving institution. The results of this research identify 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.
|Keywords:||First-Generation Students, Hispanic College Students, Higher Education, Phenomenological Research, Desire for College, Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Ronald E. McNair Program, Academic Support Programming|
Assistant Professor, Department of Education, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas, USA
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