Supporting First-gen Graduate, Professional, or Doctoral Students

Matt Newlin Ed.D., Higher Education & College Access / The Center / October 11, 2022


Resource Guide: Grad, Prof, Doc Student

First-generation students who pursue education beyond the baccalaureate level is still an under researched topic, but the extant literature available is valuable to practitioners. Research has found that first-generation students are more likely to be from underrepresented groups (Roksa et al., 2018) and that race and gender can exacerbate the challenges first-generation students face in graduate programs (Holley & Gardner, 2012). These challenges can include cultural expectations and familial obligations (Lester Leyva, 2011; Martinez, 2018; Willison & Gibson, 2011), as well as finding a community of peers and feeling a sense of belonging (Gardner, 2013; Martinez, 2018).

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