Needs Assessment of First Generation College Students Enrolled in a Dpt Program
Purpose/Hypothesis: First-generation (1st Gen) college students report many psychosocial concerns that impact their success during their undergraduate years. However, very little is known about the concerns of 1st Gen college students who continue on to graduate school. The purpose of this study was to assess the needs of 1st Gen Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students. Number of Subjects: Eighteen self-identified 1st Gen college students in the DPT program at Northern Arizona University (NAU) Materials and Methods: Students completed an 8-item survey to rank their desire to learn more about the following domains, financial aid, student loans, social support, psychological concerns, tutoring/learning skills, mentoring, professionalism, and success stories of other 1st Gen students. Each domain was scored using a Likert scale from 1 = most interested to 8 least interested. Students were also given the opportunity to identify additional areas that were not listed. Results: Career mentoring (3.5) and financial aid (3.9) were identified as the highest ranking areas of interest while professionalism (5.9) was ranked lowest. In the free response section, psychological conditions, overcoming outside social effects, negotiation skills training, and workforce development for 1st Gen students were identified as additional areas of interest. Conclusions: Career mentoring and financial aid are key areas that 1st Gen DPT students desire additional information during graduate training. Providing services and programs on campus for 1st Gen DPT students may help ensure success of this underrepresented group. Clinical Relevance: In addition to fostering success, supporting 1st Gen DPT students may promote a diverse physical therapy workforce.