Barriersto First Generation College Students
"Stebleton,M. J. & Soria, K.M. (2012). Breaking down Barriers: AcademicObstacles of First-Generation Students at Research Universities.LearningAssistance Review,17(2), 7-20"
of the Article
Thestudy aimed at evaluating the obstacles that face students of thefirst generation compared to second-generation students. Theparticipants in the research included about 145,150 students who camefrom six different universities, which were mainly researchuniversities. The method of research design employed by theresearchers was SERU, which implies Students Experience in theResearch University. The survey method was used to collect data,whereby students were interviewed. The students were required toanswer a set of questions with a random assignment of a module(Stebleton & Soria, 2012).
Whileconducting the data analysis, some assumptions were made theseassumptions included the assumptions of homogeneity of variance, aswell as the normality assumption. The tools used to analyze the datacollected mainly comprised of histograms and Q-Q plots. In addition,data analysis was done using nonparametric bootstrapping, which wasuseful in highlighting the perceived differences between firstgeneration students and students who do not belong to thisgeneration. This method was preferred since it does not make anyassumptions regarding the probability model. Rather, the methodutilizes the data available for the purposes of populationdistribution. There was computation of Monte Carlo p-valuesthis was done by drawing bootstrap replicates, which portrayed thedata. From the results, the differences between first generation andnon-first generation students depended on a number of factors. Forthe first-generation students, the factors included competingresponsibilities in their jobs, weak skills and abilities inmathematics, lack of adequate skills that could help them study,feelings of stress and depression, as well as familyresponsibilities. The results are a clear indication that firstgeneration students encounter some difficulties thansecond-generation students and these difficulties are a hindrance totheir academic success (Stebleton & Soria, 2012).
Inthe future, further research can be conducted to ascertain whathinders the academic performance of second-generation students.Although the research article has highlighted the factors affectingfirst-generation students, little emphasis has been placed on thefactors that influence the performance of second-generation students.Thus, there needs to be a study in order to unravel the weaknesses ofsecond-generation students and what really causes these weaknesses.The article has not discussed threats that might have affected thevalidity of the data collected, as well as the rival hypothesis inthe study. In the study, interviewing the students might have beenfaced with some challenges such as poor responses, or even lack ofresponse from the participants. A rival hypothesis could havesuggested that second-generation students face more obstacles thansecond-generation students. With the presence of such a hypothesisthat opposes the original hypothesis, the current hypothesis can bechallenged and its propositions put to question (Stebleton &Soria, 2012).
Thearticle can be critiqued bases on a number of factors. First thesample size can be said to have been smaller. Although the researchinvolved more than 100, 000 students, it was only conducted in sixuniversities and this raises questions on the reliability of the datacollected. If the research was done in many universities, it ispossible that the results would have been more accurate. In addition,the study concentrated more on first-generation students and thismight have affected the results obtained. The implications of thefindings is that the obstacles encountered by first-generationstudents are more than those of second-generation students. Thus,first-generation students should be accorded a lot of attention inorder to help them overcome the obstacles.
Stebleton,M. J. & Soria, K. M. (2012). Breaking down Barriers: AcademicObstacles of First-Generation Students at Research Universities.LearningAssistance Review17(2), 7-20.