The Washington Post article “First-Generation College Students Are Not Succeeding in College, and Money Isn’t the Problem” highlights some of the reasons first-generation students struggle, in spite of their many strengths and extraordinary determination.
One such hurdle is the mismatch between under-resourced college students’ skills and experiences and those required for success in college. Planning strategies required for surviving in a harsh environment, for example, are markedly different from those needed to write a research paper. Some students possess expert survival planning skills, but not the latter type, and the transition is neither automatic nor apparent. Teaching for transcendence is the key, but it is not necessarily a consistent component of instruction in higher education. We need a shift in our mental paradigm about meeting all students’ needs.
How to create this paradigm shift is a major topic discussed in Understanding and Engaging Under-Resourced College Students workshops. I would enjoy hearing about how colleges have initiated and sustained such shifts on their campuses.
You can also join us in Louisville and become a certified trainer in aha! Process’s College Achievement Alliance.