Supporting Today’s Students in the Library
This book collects current strategies from all types of academic libraries for retaining and graduating nontraditional students, with many of them based on learning theories and teaching methodologies.
Wittner, Powazny, & Kauffeld / Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice / October 2019
Students who are the first in their family to go to university (first-generation students [FGS]) are still underrepresented at universities. One of the considered reasons for this is their lack of social support. Our study followed a group of German students at two time points: after their first educational choice and at the end of their first semester. According to social cognitive career theory, we tested for the effect of self-efficacy beliefs on intention to drop out, mediated by confidence in vocational choice. Following a social network perspective, we analyzed the moderating effect of support network size and support network quality. The findings reveal a complete mediation and add to the empirical evidence on social cognitive career theory. They demonstrate the special importance of social support for FGS. High-quality support networks help FGS struggling with confidence in their vocational choice to follow their university goals instead of dropping out but have no effect for other students.