Although there is a large body of literature on first-generation college students and an emerging literature on immigrant college students, research focused on the combined experiences of college students who are both immigrant and first-generation is limited. College students who have the combined status of being first-generation and an immigrant are burden with additional challenging navigating the college process, finding resources and balancing their dream and goals with those of their family to name a few. These students pursue higher education as a means to improve their family's socioeconomic status (Suarez-Orozco, Suarez-Orozco, & Todorova, 2008), which makes choosing a college major and career path an important decision. The purpose of this study is to understand how do first-generation immigrant college students decide on a college major, make career decisions, and receive support from their parent(s) and family. Guided by Symbolic Interaction Theory and Phenomenology, fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with first-generation immigrant college students. Two super-ordinate themes emerged from the data: What I Want as a Student and What I Need to Succeed, from these there were four themes and twelve subthemes. The results of this study can be used to help advisers understand this student population and how to better work with them.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. July 2014. Major: Catherine A. Solheim. vi, 73 pages, appendices A-E.
First-generation immigrant college students: an exploration of family support and career aspirations.
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