The project “Social Networks Among First Generation Students: A Longitudinal Retention Study” aims to answer the question, how do personal and academic networks influence the retention gap between first generation and continuing generation students? In order to answer this question, we are conducting a longitudinal study, following a sample of CSU students from their first year through their fourth year. The study includes interviewing students about their personal and academic networks, asking students to draw their networks, and asking them to discuss the types of relationships and support they obtain from their network.

Several graduate students are hired to conduct interviews, and one undergraduate student supported the study with first year coding. Jeni Cross and Carolina Bañuelos are CoPIs.

CSU’s Offices of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA), Vice President for Diversity (VPD), Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness (IRPE), and Provost (SSI) provide funding for this three-year study.