Implications for Diverse College Student Populations
Edited By Donald Jr. Mitchell, Krista M. Soria, Elizabeth A. Daniele and John A. Gipson
Chapter Eleven: Working to Learn or Working to Live? Exploring the Impact of Employment on College Outcomes for Low-income and First-generation Students
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Working TO Learn OR Working TO Live? Exploring THE Impact OF Employment ON College Outcomes FOR Low-income AND Firstgeneration Students
GEORGIANNA L. MARTIN AND MELANDIE MCGEE
Working during college has become a common phenomenon among students in American higher education. Whereas the “typical” college student was once characterized as enrolling in college directly after high school, relying on parents for financial need, and refraining from working or working limited hours during a semester (Mounsey, Vandehey, & Diekhoff, 2013), at present an overwhelming number of college and university students are juggling the demands of working either part-time or full-time and managing the many responsibilities associated with obtaining a college degree. Employment plays a major role in the lives of many college students despite the different experiences that students bring with them to college (Billson & Terry, 1982). Consequently, time that students allocate toward work responsibilities may detract from time that could be devoted to coursework or other key educational experiences (e.g., research with a faculty member, involvement in co-curricular activities, or study abroad).
Stern and Nakata (1991) explain that the number of U.S. college students who work for pay during the academic year grew steadily between the 1960s and the mid-1980s. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2002), the overall employment rate was 52.6% for traditionally aged students (18–24 years old) enrolled in college. In this age group, 62.4% of students at two-year...
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