Hispanic first-generation university college students and their high school experiences
School counseling comprehensive guidance programs are designed to meet the academic, career, and social/emotional needs of students (ASCA, 2012), included in that is preparing all students for college success. Because there is an increasing number of first-generation students attending postsecondary institutions (Strayhorn, 2006) and an increase in the Hispanic population in Texas (Pew Research Center, 2016) more research is needed for how to best serve Hispanic first-generation college students. This qualitative study focused on a sample of first-generation Hispanic college students attending a university and their experiences as they transitioned from high school to college with an emphasis on what public high schools did or what they could do to help facilitate that process for this group of students. Findings were reported from a sample group of Hispanic first-generation university college students. Semi-structured, in-depth interviewing data collection techniques were utilized to answer the key research question: What identifiable resources exist or should exist in public high schools for helping Hispanic first-generation college students transition from high school to college? Findings indicate that parents are impactful in their students developing a college going belief in themselves. Also, public schools and especially school counselors/comprehensive school counseling programs play an integral part in helping Hispanic first-generation college students transition to college. The students identified resources provided to them by their high school like their school counselor, assistance with college applications, FAFSA, scholarships, AP/dual credit courses, and college and career centers that helped them in their transition to college.