First-Generation College Students and the Role of Professional School Counselors

The focus of this literature review is on first-generation college students, most of whom come from low-income and minority backgrounds, and faces numerous barriers that make it more challenging to access education beyond high school. A review of research on first-generation college students and the factors that affect their college-going rates are examined. In tandem, a review of well-established components of author selected college access programs is inspected along with special depth given to the Advancement Via Self-Determination (AVID) program due to its longitudinal, research-based, and results-proven track record. The success of the AVID program on academic achievement and college going rates is examined through an Adlerian psychology lens. Recommendations are included on how professional school counselors can best help this population access and succeed in postsecondary education.

Peggy Zimmer
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