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Supporting first-generation writers in the composition classroom: Exploring the practices of the Boise State University McNair Scholars Program
First Generation students face disproportionate challenges in college. Their graduation rate is much lower than continuing generation students even though the majority of First-generation students perform at the same level as their continuing generation peers. Existing research suggests that First-generation students perceive their writing skills as lower than their peers’ skills and current composition research suggests that First-generation students struggle to develop an academic identity which contributes to their drop-out rate (Penrose 437-61). However, there is little research at the classroom level concerning First-generation students and their academic identity. This indicates a gap in composition research. This dissertation seeks to address this gap using participant observation of the Boise State University McNair program. The Boise State University McNair program is a learning community with a high rate of success with First-generation students. This dissertation argues that Boise State McNair Scholars Program faculty members focus on building academic identity among their First-generation students which contributes to their high success rates. This dissertation utilizes four years of participant observation, two as a McNair Scholar and two as a McNair writing teacher, in order to contextualize the strategies used in the Boise State McNair curriculum for a First-Year writing class.
Olivas, Bernice M, "Supporting first-generation writers in the composition classroom: Exploring the practices of the Boise State University McNair Scholars Program" (2016). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10246494.