DISSERTATION PROPOSAL ANNOUNCEMENT Ed.D. Program Katherine Castro: “FIRST-GENERATION STUDENTS AND STEM FOCUSED PRE-COLLEGE PROGRAMS”
In the United States, higher education is perceived as a promised path towards a better quality of life. A higher education has been associated with increased economic mobility, higher economic earning potential and increased employment opportunities (Hout, 2012). Although higher education is perceived as a path towards economic and social mobility, first-generation students experience a myriad of emotional, social, financial, and academic challenges throughout their educational trajectory. Current research reveals the complex nature of first-generation and low-income students’ experiences. Unfortunately, limited research has focused specifically on why first-generation, low-income students who have completed a stem focused pre-college program continue to struggle in higher education despite extensive preparation in pre-college programs.The purpose of this qualitative case study is to understand the STEM focused trajectories of first-generation, pre-college students that participated in a STEM focused pre-college program. This study will implement the theory of Community Cultural Wealth to illuminate and empower the voices of first-generation students in pre-college programs which are all too often overlooked.
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