Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Wei-Chin Hwang

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2019 Giselle T Herrera


This thesis examines how faculty mentorship can help promote success among first-generation college students (FGCS). Mentorship can not only help college students with their academic and career development but also act as a support system and facilitate self-development. This thesis delineates specific methods that mentors can use to address the unique needs of Latinx FGCS. Latinx FGCS arrive at college with cultural capital specific to Latinx communities that value collectivistic emphases such as familism. Since college is a significant transitional period from adolescence to young adulthood, college is a pivotal time to grow and develop as an individual. The incongruent values of independence and family obligation may lead to inner and external conflicts with one’s original home community, their family, and their new community, their college. This may lead to unique stressors like family achievement guilt and acculturative stress. Mentors can serve as resources to familiarize one’s self with their new college environment while encouraging students to feel empowered by their unique identity as a Latinx FGCS and the strengths that come with it. FGCS can be powerful agents of influence in their communities as they experience college, especially if they can navigate and adjust to college and demonstrate that it is possible to be successful. Higher education institutions and the agents within it are responsible for creating an environment of support and guidance and are obligated to do everything they can to help ensure FGCS success.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.