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A case study of McNair Program participant experiences

Bruce K Exstrom, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to analyze the reported experiences from four participants in a particular TRIO Project at a large Midwestern college. Data were collected through a qualitative research process that had participants describe their academic and socially related experiences while enrolled at a Midwestern college. The context of family, social, and academic influences were analyzed and the following themes emerged: (1) Multiple Locations: The participants of the study had all moved from place to place through their childhood or had enrolled in multiple colleges. (2) Let Steam Off: The participants revealed that they needed a place to vent their anger and frustrations with personal and academic life. (3) Independence: The subjects of the study were all independent and had developed an attitude of non-trust of others, and were self-described loners and did not take part in the campus social life. (4) A Better Life: The interviewees were all self-motivated to succeed in higher education, and had a simple and realistic goal of having a better life than they had before. ^ The findings are significant in that in a time of many cutbacks in federal and state funding for higher education, the need is increasing for financial aid, along with counseling for personal challenges that lead to high attrition rates for first-generation, low-income students. The findings provide college administrators, state legislators, and tax payers with information regarding the difficulties of these under-represented students in postsecondary education and the need to continue college opportunities for everyone. ^

Subject Area

Education, Finance|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Exstrom, Bruce K, "A case study of McNair Program participant experiences" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3116571.