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WACRAO Annual Conference – November 2008. A First Look at First-Gen: Characteristics of First-Generation Undergraduates at UW-Madison. Clare Huhn Policy and Planning Analyst, UW-Madison. Transition to College.

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WACRAO Annual Conference – November 2008

A First Look at First-Gen:

Characteristics of First-Generation

Undergraduates at UW-Madison

Clare Huhn

Policy and Planning Analyst, UW-Madison


Transition to College

The likelihood of going to college is related to the level of parental educational


State Context

Wisconsin has a below-average proportion of adults with bachelors degrees


National Studies

First-generation students are different in many respects from their peers whose parents have college degrees

  • Three large national studies:

  • Straight from the Source: What Works for First-Generation College Students

  • The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, December 2006

  • First-Generation Students in Postsecondary Education: A Look at their College Transcripts

  • National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Education, 2005 (pub. 171)

  • Students whose Parents did not Go to College: Postsecondary Access, Persistence, and Attainment (Findings from the Condition of Education – 2001)

  • National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 2001 (pub. 126)


Framework

  • Equity

  • Economic Development

  • Student Services

  • Communication


National Studies

First-generation students are different in many respects from their peers whose parents have college degrees

  • Compared to other students, first-generation students are more likely to:

  • Be academically under-prepared for college

  • Start college at a two-year institution

  • Be female

  • Be older

  • Be a racial/ethnic minority

  • Come from a low-income family

  • Work while in college

  • Attend college part-time

  • Delay choosing a major

  • Major in a non-technical field

  • Drop and repeat courses more frequently

  • Have lower college GPAs

  • Drop out and stop out more frequently

  • Not graduate


New UW-Madison Students

21% of new freshmen and 33% of new transfers


Race/Ethnicity

Asians are the most and least likely to be first-generation students


Gender

First-generation students are slightly more likely to be female.


Age

First-generation transfer students are older than other transfer students.


State Residency

First-generation students are more likely to be from Wisconsin.


WI Geographic Distribution

First-generation students come from all over Wisconsin.


WI Geographic Distribution

First-generation students are more likely to come from rural high schools.


Transfer Sending Institutions

First-generation transfer students are more likely to transfer from two-year institutions.


Socioeconomic Indicators

First-generation students are more likely to come from lower income families.


Academic Preparation

First-generation students take fewer AP tests.


UW-Madison vs. National Studies

First-generation students at UW-Madison are similar in many respects to first-generation students nationally, but also different in other ways.

  • Compared to other students, first-generation students are more likely to:

  • Be academically under-prepared for college

  • Start college at a two-year institution - 

  • Be female - 

  • Be older -  (transfer starts)

  • Be a racial/ethnic minority - 

  • Come from a low-income family - 

  • Work while in college - 

  • Attend college part-time

  • Delay choosing a major

  • Major in a non-technical field

  • Drop and repeat courses more frequently - ?

  • Have lower college GPAs - ?

  • Drop out and stop out more frequently - ?

  • Not graduate - ?


Next Steps

  • Outcomes

  • Recruiting/college selection

  • Context in Wisconsin

  • Math

  • Integration into standard reports


WACRAO Annual Conference – November 2008

Thank you!

For more information, see

www.apa.wisc.edu or email

chuhn@vc.wisc.edu

Clare Huhn

Policy and Planning Analyst, UW-Madison


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