• Barriers to graduation: an examination of first-generation college students

      Smith, Sarah M. (2012-08)
      The college experience of first- generation college students is unique in comparison to their peers. Many students do not have the support from their family and require help in the navigation of college life. Student Support Services, a federally funded TRIO program helps students successfully graduate with a bachelor's degree. Qualitative interviews were conducted on ten undergraduate students at UAF who were labeled as first-generation college students. All ten students were active participants in Student Support Services at the University of Alaska Fairbanks during the time of the interview. A thematic analysis produced six emergent themes. It was found that students utilized communicative strategies based on Orbe's co-cultural communication theory. First-generation college students, a non-dominant part of society, tried to negotiate through the University system, the dominant section of society. Through this negotiation, a co-cultural group was formed.