On par with the rest: first-generation college students and cultural intelligence

Miele & Nguyen, 2019 / Journal of Further and Higher Education / April 2019

Students on campus

Attending a secondary education institution represents a substantial change in the social, learning and financial environments for most young adults, but for first-generation college students, the experience is even more complex. This study takes a unique approach to the investigation of first-generation college students by looking at the intersection of two areas of research, firstly first-generation students and secondly cultural intelligence (CQ). Our study is motivated by the finding that CQ leads to student success and that first-generation students represent a community with unique needs. We believe a better understanding of the CQ of first-generation students can prevent biases in creating effective pedagogy. In measuring the level of CQ of first-generation students, we find there is no significant difference in the CQ levels of first-generation and non-first-generation students. And in fact, learning additional languages and encouraging extracurricular experiences can have a positive impact on all college students.