Factors affecting African-American, Anglo and Hispanic first-generation community college students, who have persisted and graduated from four-year institutions between 1990 and 2000 in Texas
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First-generation community college students, regardless of race or ethnicity, experience a myriad of tribulations while attending the two-year colleges. These students bring with them world-views that dramatically affect their persistence practices and how they learn. A study examined African-American, Anglo and Hispanic community college students who persisted through the four-year degree in Texas. Specifically, factors that were culturally based and those that were due to the students’ status as first-generation college students were studied. Data was obtained through qualitative interviews of eighteen purposefully selected individuals. Results revealed that community college students rely heavily on skills and instincts that are learned from their cultures to navigate their educational experiences. Seeking the advice, counsel and guidance from individuals outside of their families was the only significant practice that all participants used as a means to persist. College officials’ awareness of different world-views in order to serve the diverse student populations of community colleges is paramount. The importance of selecting new community college employees is discussed as a result of this finding.