Generating social capital in first-generation students through a first-year seminar at a midwest university
Graduating college is an important milestone, but, for first-generation students (FGS), this can be more of a challenge than continuing-generation students. First-year seminars (FYS) aim to integrate students academically and socially to university life. The literature has not measured how social capital may differ based on parental education or in different types of FYS. No evidence was found for considering FGS-none (students where neither parent has had any education beyond high school) and FGS-some (students where at least one parent has had some education beyond high school, but did not complete a four-year degree) distinct populations. Social capital at the end of the semester for FGS-none was significantly smaller than continuing-generation students. There were significant increases in total social capital for FGS-none and continuing-generation students but not FGS-some. Factor analysis revealed five dimensions of social capital in the survey instrument: advisor, faculty, institutional, family, and peer. All FGS groups increased advisor social capital; FGS-some and continuing-generation students increased faculty social capital; FGS-some increased peer social capital; and continuing-generation students increased institutional social capital.
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