Presented at the Association for Institutional Research annual forum, this presentation presents information about the use of parental education variables among college students. Many scholars, federal agencies, and institutions define first-generation students using different criteria; furthermore, most researchers collapse students into dichotomous categories of first-generation/non-first-generation. Both strategies of defining first-generation students may mask important insights about first-generation students--insights that can be highlighted by using a differentiated definition of first-generation status based on varying degrees of parents' educational attainment. Using the multi-institutional Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey, this paper presents evidence that suggests a more nuanced understanding of parents’ educational achievement can highlight the unique experiences of students from different parental educational backgrounds and potentially benefit research, policy, and practice.
Presented at the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) annual forum, New Orleans, LA, June 5, 2012.
Soria, Krista M.; Gorny, Laury.
Defining First-Generation Students by Degrees: Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice.
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