College-to-Career Experience: Black and Hispanic First-generation College Graduates

Jeannette Frett, University of Pennsylvania


This study examined the lived college-to-career experiences of 23 Black and Hispanic first-generation bachelor’s degree recipients who completed an 18-month career preparation program conducted by Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a non-profit organization dedicated to the career preparation and professional advancement of high-performing emerging leaders from underrepresented, diverse communities, including undergraduate students transitioning from college to career. With record high costs of higher education, increased demand for bachelor’s degree credentials in the labor force, and disproportionately higher rates of unemployment for Black and Hispanic first-generation college graduates, understanding the forces that influence the college-to-career transition of Black and Hispanic first-generation bachelor’s degree recipients is critical. Using a qualitative research approach, the data gathered from semi-structured interviews were analyzed through the prisms of human capital theory and social cognitive career theory, a career-related construct for examining the personal, behavioral, and environmental forces influencing individual career choices, expectations, decisions, and outcomes. The findings point to five forces influencing the college-to-career experiences of the 23 Black and Hispanic FGC graduates in this study: family, persistence, preparation, networking, and race.

Subject Area

Black studies|Latin American Studies|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Frett, Jeannette, "College-to-Career Experience: Black and Hispanic First-generation College Graduates" (2018). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI10829075.