An exploratory, phenomenological study of the lived experience of first-generation female students

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Gatto, Laura
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the lived experience of first generation female students in their first year of study at the University of Guelph in Guelph Ontario, Canada. The study highlights the importance of learning about the lived experience of first-generation female students, from their perspectives and in their own words. As previous research focuses most often on the demographics, academic performance, and persistence rates of first-generation students, this study is significant as it approaches the female first-generation student experience from a phenomenological standpoint. The women spoke at length about the effect their parents and siblings had on their academic lives. They talked of their experiences transitioning to university and the issues and challenges associated with their new environments. The participants in this study also shared what advice they would give to other first-generation students entering higher education.

lived experience, first generation, female students, study, university student, perspective, phenomenological standpoint