How to Make College a Better Bet for More People
To explore how to lift people’s prospects, The Chronicle brought together a campus leader, a public official, a researcher, and a college counselor.
Chapman, Daly, Daniel, Hartsell-Gundy, Wofford, & Yang / / January 2018
How can Duke University in general – and the Duke University Libraries in particular – further support the success of its first-generation (1G) college students? To explore this question, a cross-departmental team of library staff conducted six focus groups with 1G students during the 2017-2018 academic year and analyzed responses from the Libraries’ 2018 user satisfaction survey (overall N = 2,381 students) with the 1G status demographic (N = 127 students). Overall, the existing national research on 1G experiences applies to students at Duke. While 1G students’ experiences are not monolithic, the research team was able to identify nine findings related to 1G students’ experiences on campus and in the Libraries. These findings identify challenges students experience and suggest specific points for intervention and support. This report includes detailed methodology, general and library findings, concrete recommendations for improving library services in order to support 1G students, and a one-page summary of findings and recommendations. While this report focuses on the experiences and needs of 1G students, it should be emphasized that 1G challenges are student challenges: support or expansions of campus and library services targeted toward 1G students will help all students succeed.