To Work or Not to Work: Student Employment, Resiliency, and Institutional Engagement of Low-Income, First-Generation College Students

    Volume 42, No. 1, 2012, p. 28

    By Edward F. Martinez, Dolores C. Bilges, Sherrille T. Shabazz, Rhoda Miller, and Elsa-Sofia Morote

    This exploratory study examines the difference between two college persistence factors—resiliency and institutional engagement—for low income, working, first-generation college students. Participants in the study consisted of 52 respondents to the Family History Knowledge and College Persistence Survey. Among respondents, 50 students reported participating in some form of employment, with 9 students in workstudy, 22 students in off-campus employment, and 19 students in both work-study and off-campus employment. Data analysis shows a significant relationship between resiliency and employment type, but no significant relationship between institutional engagement and employment type. Our findings indicate students who balance academics and employment exhibit a higher resiliency toward attaining graduation.