How Can We Help You?

An Exploration of What Institutional Websites Reveal About First-generation Support Services

  • Lynell S Hodge University of Central Florida
  • Amanda Wilkerson
  • Emmanuela Stanislaus
Keywords: first-generation, college students, expectancy-value theory, content analysis, rubric


Institutional websites are powerful tools that communicate wide range of information. Providing access to higher education requires institutions to consider how services are communicated with a goal of engaging students from diverse populations. This study utilized a conceptual content analysis to review university and college websites to determine how information about support services for first-generation students is electronically communicated. The researchers constructed an evaluative study to assess 14 institutions to formulate a critique and extend the work of Eccles’s expectancy-value theory (1984), which suggests that achievement-related choices are motivated by students’ expectations for success. The results of this study found salient factors to indicate that institutions sought to provide support for first-generation students, but relevant information was not always explicitly conveyed on websites, particularly in ways most likely to engage diverse populations.



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