|Are you a first generation college student turned faculty?|
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However, little to no information is available about how those same students, who later become part of academic institutions as faculty, better learn to navigate the challenges associated with those beliefs, behaviors, success rates, and parental involvement.
Faculty who were first generation students themselves, may or may not have been part of special programs that then may have better prepared them to mentor or advise their own students. Faculty may also still have feelings of displacement, or concerns about their own identities or "fitting in" with other faculty from higher socioeconomic statuses. These first generation college students turned faculty may or may not have support and acceptance about their career choice from friends and family. Just like first generation college students, they may or may not feel adequately supported by administrators whose roles they may not fully understand.
In order to investigate any patterns or correlations that may exist, longitudinally, as first generation college students become faculty members, faculty should be surveyed. The following questions are part of an initial survey.
- Are you a faculty member at an institution that serves first-generation college students?
- Were you a first-in-family or first generation college student?
- Do you work directly as a teacher, mentor, or adviser of first generation or first-in-family college students?
- Were you part of a special program for first-in-family or first generation college students?
- Do you feel a special first generation program has helped or would have helped you better teach, advise, or mentor first generation college students?
- Do you feel you are sufficiently able to empathize with other first-in-family or first generation college students?
- Do you ever feel as though you yourself do not belong in academia?
- Do you feel your job or day-to-day responsibilities are misunderstood by family and friends who are not part of academia?
- Do you or have you ever felt unprepared for your day-to-day responsibilities, like lesson planning, attending meeting with others, research, or working as an adviser or mentor?
- Do you have any other comments about being a first-in-family or first generation college student turned faculty member?
Dependent upon the results of the survey, a closer look at programs that prepare first generation college faculty for jobs within academia may be warranted.