Tiffany Bowers


Education: Bachelor of Arts in anthropology (August 2019)

Currently pursuing an Master of Library and Information Science at the University of Denver

McNair Project: Enhancing First-generation College Students’ use of Kansas State University Libraries (2019)

Mentors: Sara Kearns, Ph.D., and Charissa Powell, M.L.S. (University of Tennessee-Knoxville)

With the enrollment of first-generation college students (FGCS) steadily declining at Kansas State University (K-State), it is increasingly important to offer vital institutional support to this population. FGCS’ success is correlated to academic library services, resources, and networking. As an FGCS, I relied heavily on the K-State Libraries to navigate and cultivate my college experience. To better understand the experiences of other FGCS and how they interact with the K-State Libraries resources and services, I assessed community needs by conducting semi-structured interviews with FGCS and analyzed the transcripts using Corbin & Strauss’ grounded theory methodology. Through my lived experience as a FGCS and the interview results, I identify and recommend collaborative next steps between the central first-generation support units and the K-State Libraries. These recommendations should improve the success of FGCS at K-State and potentially provide a model for service offices at other universities.