A Road Less Traveled: Possible Selves as a Theory for Mentoring First-Generation Students

Saichaie / Journal of First-generation Student Success / November 2023

Despite the transformative nature of mentoring in postsecondary education, there are many students who either do not benefit from or are harmed by the practice. One such example is first-generation students. The purpose of this conceptual article is to suggest that mentoring might be enhanced by using possible selves as a theory to guide and inform the practice, especially as it relates to first-generation students. Possible selves as a mentoring practice enables a student to envision the person(s) they could become instead of simply reproducing what a mentor thinks they should become. This approach recognizes all the forms of capital that first-generation students hold.

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