Figuring out the codes of college for first generation students

  • Fiona Veraa (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation-


The increasing demographic diversity of the student body of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, such as the widening participation of students from secondary vocational education, presents several challenges for both students and the institution. Looking at ways to improve a smooth transition from secondary (vocational) education to higher education and to expand postsecondary opportunity to students from traditionally underrepresented groups, one interesting population of study is first generation students. In this workshop, we will take a closer look at the transition to higher education of first generation students.
In the literature, first generation students are often regarded as high risk, since they are much more likely than their peers to drop out before graduation. At Dutch institutions of higher education, it is only rather recently that first generation students have been identified as a population potentially having particular needs and expectations. First generation students, pioneers in their family to embark on an academic journey, can face a number of unique obstacles once they enter the doors of higher education. For them, the initial access to higher education does not necessarily mean easy access to support and tools to navigate this new environment successfully, since they often must first decipher the academic do’s and don’ts. This workshop offers a literature overview of common demands facing first generation students and best practices in higher education to meet those demands in order to try to stop the revolving door of higher education. Participants are invited to share insights about this population, before and after entering higher education, and pick up useful approaches to empower these students. We will explore how we can help students ‘crack the academic code of college’. What is the typical college knowledge, the often tacit knowledge that serves as a compass to understand normative institutional expectations? We examine the role of ‘university student’ and what it means for students to master that role well in order to figure out teachers’ expectations and apply this academic ‘know-how’ successfully to meet those expectations. The presentation aims to offer the opportunity to exchange views to get new ideas and inspiration for those whose educational practices and research interests are focused on inclusive excellence.
Period30 Mar 2017
Event titlePedagogy Congress Change and Innovation in Social Work and Education
Event typeConference
LocationNijmegen, NetherlandsShow on map