Protective Factors Among Postsecondary Students Enrolled in a First-Generation Program

Austin, Vincent, & Kirby, 2018 / Journal of Research in Technical Careers / December 2018

classroom full of students

For generations, researchers have examined attributes that contribute to the adaptability of low socioeconomic youth. Attributes that help one become resilient are known as protective factors. The purpose of this descriptive study was to explore the protective factor(s) that contributed to the enrollment of first-generation, low-socioeconomic status (SES) students at a southern land-grant university. The population consisted of postsecondary students in a First Scholars program during the 2015-2016 academic year. The authors examine the existing literature on the effects of low SES on postsecondary education in order to explore what assists these students in maintaining a steadfast behavior. Recommendations are made for the recruitment of students who display a higher resiliency to be successful at the postsecondary level and for the First Scholars program on how to further enhance the program.