Examining Conceptual and Operational Definitions of "First-Generation College Student" in Research on Retention

Peralta & Klonowski / Journal of College Student Development / May 1, 2017

two people researching in library

Students who have parents with little to no postsecondary education have an increasing presence in colleges and universities (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). Researchers recognize that these individuals face unique barriers in higher education programs that affect their ability to graduate (Jamelske, 2009). Given the wide concern about student retention (Engle & Tinto, 2008), attention to this group of college students labeled "first-generation" (Ward, Seigel, & Davenport, 2012, p. 3) is particularly important.