As educators at all levels seek to increase accessibility to higher education for students whose parents did not attend college, it is essential that we seek out the strengths and assets these students bring to the table. But we must not stop there. It is the responsibility of the educator, once these strengths are known, to help students use them to their advantage. There is a widely held misconception about how the families of first-generation students support their students through the pursuit of a college education. For many of these families, and for Latino families in particular, support does not always come in the form of helicopter parenting, phone calls to the Dean’s office, and assistance with college applications.
It is essential that higher education professionals understand what support means to various cultures so that they can adequately respond to the needs of all of their students and families. It is the social responsibility of the institution to design programs and initiatives around new understandings of the students they seek to serve. The objective of this webinar does not rest at providing information, it challenges participants to answer the question “now what?” Armed with this information, participants will be encouraged to explore what can be done at their own institutions to make a difference for students who have become the first in the family to attend college.
This webinar will address the important transition between high school and college for Latino/a first-generation students of color, including decisions made leading up to this process, as well as pre-college experiences at home. It will also provide recommendations for how institutions can work closely with families from recruitment through graduation. Understanding this transition is a critical key to increasing college access, student success, and identifying what first-generation Latino/a students and their families need in order to successfully pursue and navigate the world of higher education.