“That Was the Biggest Help”: The Importance of Familial Support for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Community College Students

Elia H. Bueno, Selena M. Velasquez, Regina Deil-Amen, Candace Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study reveals the informal instrumental and socio-emotional support that non-traditional (e.g., Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and first-generation), low-income community college students pursuing STEM majors receive from family members that combat experiences of marginalization and contribute toward their self-efficacy. Family support can be particularly important for underrepresented undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) students who are at higher risks of dropping out of their program and experience lower levels of success indicators (e.g., sense of belonging, self-concept, and STEM identity) compared to their white and Asian peers. Utilizing a phenomenological approach, we used open-ended questions during focus groups with community college transfer students to gain their experiences with challenges and feelings of belonging in college and STEM. We apply the funds of knowledge framework to investigate the value family support holds for students in navigating STEM challenges and expand the definition of family to include romantic partners and extended family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number768547
JournalFrontiers in Education
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 19 2022

Keywords

  • community college students
  • family support
  • funds of knowledge
  • instrumental support
  • socio-emotional support
  • STEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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