“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.” ~ Carol Dweck
The parents of many first-generation college students may have told them since childhood that they need to go to college, but family members often know very little about the steps required to pursue higher education or the realities of what college life is like. Sometimes, the realities of pursuing higher education bump up against family cultural values or financial and practical needs. All students, but especially those who are the first in their family to pursue higher education, will require support and advice to navigate the complex institutional and relational paths to pursue an education that leads to success in college, career, and life.
As a teacher, you may or may not have all the knowledge to teach and advise your students in these distinct areas, but by being resourceful, you can develop professional partnerships with the people in your school and community who can. Some of your students may participate in other programs with advisors who can help with these tasks (high school counselors, Trio, AVID, Upward Bound). Others will have virtually no support, which makes it important to know which of your students have it and which ones do not. Your role may largely be as an advocate or coordinator working with other professionals to provide your students with opportunities that will help them frame this experience in positive ways. This unit lays out a general plan to support your students (and you) to identify and overcome the barriers to educational access they may expect to encounter along the long paths to teacher education or other careers.
- Overview spreadsheet (Document)
- Resources and materials (Folder)
- Annotated graphic organizer (Document)