The present study involved a sample (n = 203) of college students and investigated the differences in academic expectations of first-generation and non-first-generation undergraduates who attended a doctoral-granting public four-year historically Black university on the eastern shore of Maryland. There were 133 first-generation and 70 non-first-generation students. This study focused on the expressed needs of first-generation and non-first-generation college students to determine whether differences exist in academic expectations. In addition, this study sought to lead to an increase in the understanding of the academic expectations shared by first-year first-generation and non-first-generation college students.
This study used an ex post facto design with a population of students who were enrolled in a Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Psychology or Introduction to Psychology course. The data were analyzed to assess the academic expectations that describe first-generation and non-first-generation students. This study, in spite of its limitations, has added to the body of existing literature supporting the academic expectations examined. Students who had parents with no college experience, students who had parents with some college experience, and students who had at least one parent with a bachelor’s degree were similar. However, they differed significantly regarding transferring to another institution before graduating and socializing with friends who are students at their institution. Students whose parents had no college experience were more likely to expect to stay at their institution until graduation instead of transferring and were more likely to expect to spend less time socializing with friends than other students. Administrators and student affairs professionals could consider these findings when recruiting, admitting, and retaining students. Programs could be developed which address students’ needs relative to their collegiate experience.
Murphy, Catrina G. and Hicks, Terence, "Academic Characteristics among First-Generation and Non-First-Generation College Students " (2006). Faculty Working Papers from the School of Education. Paper 8.