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Transcript

Table of Contents

Introduction

Defining "first-gen"

Connecting as a First-Gen

First-Generation Student

Aliyah SanAndres

FIrst Gen Stories

Discourse Community Theorists

Discourse Community

Introduction

Research Questions

How can we define the essence of a first-generation student, and in what ways does this definition manifest through diverse literacies? Further, why is it imperative to grasp these dynamics for a comprehensive understanding of the academic experiences and shared aspirations of first-generation students working towards the goal of earning a college degree?

"First-Gen"

What defines a first-gernation college student?

First-generation students, often referred to as "first-gen," are individuals whose parents or guardians have not completed a bachelor's degree. These students represent a pioneering cohort within the educational landscape, navigating the complexities of higher education without the familial precedent of prior academic experiences. First-Gen students often have varying background, but they are united in their quest to be the first to acheive a college degree.

Conenections

First-Gen Student ResourcesUniversity of Miami

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First-Gen CANES

Student Organization

First-Gen Canes is the umbrella organiztion that joins first-gen students together and organizes events for social and professional ocassions. This kind of organization exist on most college campuses.

Empower ME First

Academy

The Empower Me First Academy is an organization that pairs first-gen students with mentors and provides a space for networking, learning about money, and makign close relationships. This organization is unique to the U.

HOME

Personal

Being First-Gen is something that exists at home and in the mind of studnets with this background. Students have a reponsibility to take care of things in their own way despite the resources that may exist on campus.

Discourse Community

Several linguists have had their hand at defining a discourse community. Their theories highlight the criteria that makes up the understanding of a discourse community.

James Paul Gee is an esteemed American linguist and education scholar known for his work in sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. With a Ph.D. from Stanford, he has held faculty positions at institutions like UCLA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gee's influential writings, including "Social Linguistics and Literacies," emphasize the social context of language and advocate for a holistic approach to learning. Notably, he explores the educational potential of video games in "What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy."

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Discourse Community

Several linguists have had their hand at defining a discourse community. Their theories highlight the criteria that makes up the understanding of a discourse community.

John Swales, born on June 15, 1938, is a prominent British-American linguist known for his influential contributions to discourse analysis, particularly in the area of discourse communities. Swales is celebrated for developing the concept of "discourse community," a key theory in understanding how groups of people communicate within specific social contexts. According to Swales, a discourse community is characterized by shared goals, communication norms, and a specialized vocabulary that distinguishes its members from outsiders.

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First-Gen Stories

First-Generation students around the US have spoken about their journey navigating higher education.This is Lesie Betz a first-gen student at Wesleyan Univeristy.

Leslie Betz"Being a First Generation college student meant a lot of things to me. The huge responsibility to represent not only my family, but myself! There were no guideposts! And it was the chance to encounter new ideas and perspectives that I still consider priceless to this day. It meant professors guiding me not just through learning the material, but learning how to learn! It meant critical thinking and challenging presuppositions.As for motivation, it was initially my parents, coupled with my sense of adventure and a desire to get out of the countryside…"

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First-Gen Stories

Alredo Dominguez is a first-gen student from Columbia who was accepted to Columbia University.

Alfedo Dominguez"I do not know when I realized that Columbia was not a place that was made for me, if it was the website using words I didn't recognize or if it was the look on my future classmates' faces to my "urban" dialect.I falsely believed that my academic success would give me a blank slate from which to build my new life, but the reverberations of generational trauma and poverty became an unshakable dark hue that stained every moment I spent on Columbia's campus."

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First-Gen Stories

Brianna Bourne is a First-Gen student from Jamaica who attended Boston University.

Brianna BourneRaised in a Jamaican household, Brianna parents' hard work at the US Post Office and a bank shaped her values. Navigating the Boston Public School system and excelling at Boston Latin Academy, Brianna credits the Upward Bound program for guiding her through the college application process. Her journey to BU, her top choice, was paved with the support of Upward Bound, aiding in college preparation and financial aid applications. Facing challenges during the pandemic, Brianna received support from BU and, through an appeal, secured the necessary aid and was able to attend thereafter.

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My Story

I am also a First-Gen student. I now attend the University of Miami.

Growing up with a single mother posed many challenges both in my academic and personal life. Before becoming aware that organizations existed to unite students like myself, I took on this identity as a secret. Because of this, I struggled in silence. Opening up to other first-gen students in high school and college has proven to be on of the best resources on the market. I have witnessed first hand how shared values connect people. This idenity is always with me, and as a first-gen student, I can't wait continue the persuit of my degree.

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Stories

How stories connect first-generation students

Stories serve as powerful threads weaving the tapestry of shared experiences, connecting first-generation students through narratives that resonate with the triumphs, challenges, and aspirations unique to their journey, fostering a sense of community and empowerment on the path to higher education success.

Thank You

Citations

Thank you!Images from Genially and Aliyah's personal photo library.Links to articles included in pages info section.

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