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Imagine the first-generation students who end up at one of the top colleges in the country. They are largely from lower-income families and more likely to be minority students than the entire student body. They enter universities with amazing potential to provide academic and other resources.
But are they well served? Are they happy? Should the universities be doing more?
These are some of the questions Rachel Gable answers in The Hidden Curriculum: First Generation Students at Legacy Universities (Princeton University Press).
Gable, director of institutional effectiveness at Virginia Commonwealth University, conducted more than 100 interviews with first-generation students at Harvard and Georgetown Universities.
She answered questions about the book via email.
Q: Did the students you interviewed, on the whole, say they were glad they were at Harvard and Georgetown?
A: Yes, in general, the first-generation college students in this study were quite satisfied with their college experiences. When asked to rate their academic and social experiences from one to 10, the ratings they gave more or less matched those offered by their peers who had parents with college degrees. In both groups the median score was an eight out of 10. More interesting than student satisfaction ratings […]