Serving Undergraduate First-generation Latinx/a/o Communities in Higher Education

Antonio Duran Ph.D., Arizona State University / The Center / December 11, 2023

First-gen Latinx/a/o Resource Guide Cover

As the overall Latinx/a/o population in the United States rises, Latinx/a/o communities continue to be one of the fastest-growing college student demographic groups (Flink, 2018; Mora, 2022). Scholars have amplified the diversity of communities that exist within Latinx/a/o college student populations (Garcia & Cuellar, 2023; Núñez, 2014) and have echoed other research that shows Latinx/a/o communities are not a monolith (Zong, 2022).

One subgroup that has received the attention of educators, policymakers, and community partners is first-generation Latinx/a/o students. The need to spotlight the realities that first-generation Latinx/a/o students face at institutions of higher education is urgent. Recently, Excelencia in Education (2019) reported that Latinos were more likely than other racial and ethnic groups to be first-generation college students. Researchers have consistently demonstrated that these communities encounter unique challenges and opportunities in educational settings given their racial and ethnic positioning and educational generational status.

This resource guide unpacks several themes found in the literature on first-generation Latinx/a/o students, including access to and aspirations for higher education; academic experiences, preparation, and outcomes; persistence and resistance; and navigating college and community.