First-Generation Students: Confronting the Cultural Issues

Zwerling & London, 1992 / New Directions for Community Colleges / January 1992

black female student writing in notebook

Focusing on the cultural issues facing students who are the first in their families to attend college, this volume addresses the difficulties in bridging the two worlds of college and home and describes campus programs to help students overcome cultural barriers. The issue contains the following chapters: (1) "Transformations: Cultural Challenges Faced by First-Generation Students," by Howard B. London; (2) "Discordant Voices in the Urban Community College," by Lois Weis, discussing conflicts between students of different races, between middle-class faculty and poor students, and between male and female students; (3) "Helping First-Generation Minority Students Achieve Degrees," by Richard C. Richardson, Jr., and Elizabeth Fisk Skinner, offering ideas on optimizing first-generation minority students' education; (4) "First-Generation Adult Students: In Search of Safe Havens," by L. Steven Zwerling, highlighting the unique problems faced by adult first-generation students; (5) "From the Barrio to the Academy: Revelations of a Mexican American "Scholarship Girl," by Laura I. Rendon, giving a personal account of a Mexican-American first-generation student; (6) "Reflections: Bridging Cultures," by Julia Lara, describing a Latina student's attempts to negotiate the gulf between her traditional Dominican culture and modern American society; (7) "The Challenge of First-Generation College Students: A Miami-Dade Perspective," by Eduardo J. Padron, discussing programs at the nation's largest two-year college; (8) "Transforming Educational Dreams into Educational Reality," by John Chaffee, discussing LaGuardia Community College's efforts for diversification; (9) "Tribal Colleges: A Success Story," by Wayne J. Stein, discussing special programs at 24 tribally controlled two-year colleges; and (10) "Issues of Curriculum and Community for First-Generation Asian Americans in College," by Peter Nien-chu Kiang.