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“A LONG ROW TO HOE”. Edition No. 1
VDM Publishing House, January 2010, Pages: 204
In the rural South today, education has changed from something that people did to something that they value, so today more first-generation students are encouraged to work hard and do well in school so that they can go to college. For many first-generation students, a college degree becomes a means of moving out of the working class. Once first-generation students enter college, however, they face unique challenges. Learning how to navigate within the higher education system is critical to their success. In the process, however, first-generation students often find themselves in limbo between what they have always known and what they believe they can become. Even though parents have acted as sponsors before students enter college, they often contribute to students’ uncertainty, especially when students begin to question cultural beliefs and values. This study examines the lives of first-generation college students from rural, working-class families in Southeast Georgia. Through hearing their stories, readers better understand first-generation students’ passage into higher education, both how they have prepared and the challenges they face once they enroll.
Dr. Ellen Hendrix is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University. She received her Ph. D. in Rhetoric and Linguistics from Indiana University in 2009. Her research interests include class and literacy studies.