Title

The Involvement of First-generation College Students in On-campus Clubs/Organizations at University of the Pacific

Lead Author Major

Major: Sociology with minors in Pre-Law and Ethnic Studies

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Capstone Project

Faculty Mentor Name

Alison Alkon

Faculty Mentor Department

Sociology

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Susan Mannon

Additional Faculty Mentor Department

Sociology

Abstract/Artist Statement

First-generation college students encounter more difficult journeys than traditional students when it comes to pursuing higher education. Due to the challenges and struggles in the transitioning process, many first-generation college students drop out of college because they do not get support and motivation to stay in college. Through involvement in on-campus clubs and organizations, many students receive support systems that provide a sense of belonging within the college and provide them opportunities to succeed in college. The primary goal of this study was to investigate whether first-generation students are involved in on-campus clubs and organizations or not? The study consisted of 20 online surveys and 7 in-depth interviews with students at University of the Pacific to understand the motivation of first-generation college students to join on-campus clubs/organizations. The study was presented in two sections: the first section focused on the areas in which joining clubs and organizations help first-generation college students in their college career and the second section focused on the barriers that prevent students from joining clubs and organizations. It concluded by offering suggestions on what clubs and organizations should do to remove barriers that prevent first-generation college students from being involved in different clubs and organizations. The findings suggest that first-generation college students do not merely join clubs and organizations for fun, but they also get involved to get the support they need to overcome the challenges of being first-generation college students, such as making connections with other students, transitioning to college life, receiving a mentor or academic support, and finding resources. Many first-generation college students come from minority backgrounds, therefore, they prefer to connect with other students who share similar interests as them. Joining clubs and organizations helped fulfill this need of first-generation college students.

Location

Virtual

Start Date

25-4-2020 10:00 AM

End Date

25-4-2020 12:00 PM

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Apr 25th, 10:00 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

The Involvement of First-generation College Students in On-campus Clubs/Organizations at University of the Pacific

Virtual

First-generation college students encounter more difficult journeys than traditional students when it comes to pursuing higher education. Due to the challenges and struggles in the transitioning process, many first-generation college students drop out of college because they do not get support and motivation to stay in college. Through involvement in on-campus clubs and organizations, many students receive support systems that provide a sense of belonging within the college and provide them opportunities to succeed in college. The primary goal of this study was to investigate whether first-generation students are involved in on-campus clubs and organizations or not? The study consisted of 20 online surveys and 7 in-depth interviews with students at University of the Pacific to understand the motivation of first-generation college students to join on-campus clubs/organizations. The study was presented in two sections: the first section focused on the areas in which joining clubs and organizations help first-generation college students in their college career and the second section focused on the barriers that prevent students from joining clubs and organizations. It concluded by offering suggestions on what clubs and organizations should do to remove barriers that prevent first-generation college students from being involved in different clubs and organizations. The findings suggest that first-generation college students do not merely join clubs and organizations for fun, but they also get involved to get the support they need to overcome the challenges of being first-generation college students, such as making connections with other students, transitioning to college life, receiving a mentor or academic support, and finding resources. Many first-generation college students come from minority backgrounds, therefore, they prefer to connect with other students who share similar interests as them. Joining clubs and organizations helped fulfill this need of first-generation college students.