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McNair Scholar 2011Aliya M. Jeylani

Aliya M. Jeylani is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in Business and Marketing Education and minoring in Global Studies. Her research interests revolve around understanding access and retention issues impacting first-generation college students. Ms. Jeylani plans on getting her M.A. in Public Health with emphasis in Health Service Administration.

Aliya M. Jeylani photo
My dream is to start my own non-profit organization that promotes the well being of all citizens by providing services that offset costs of health insurance in order to improve quality of life, and be an advocate for the creation of efficient and accessible health insurance for all.

Research project

Beyond the First Year; The First-Generation College Experience

Abstract: Research indicates that first-generation, low-income college students remain at a disadvantage with maintaining enrollment and attaining degrees compared to their peers whose parents are college graduates. In this study, we conducted nine focus groups to explore the experiences of first-generation college students at a large, public Midwestern research university with attention to two significant questions: One, how might our institution better serve first-generation students beyond their first year of college, where tremendous resources have already been allocated? Second, how might a peer-mentoring program be beneficial to these students? Using interpretive critical research as a process and framework, preliminary analyses of the data yielded six meta-themes:  (a) visible/invisible, (b) different worlds, (c) perpetual border crossers, (d) burden of privilege, (e) getting to know the system, and (f) a call to genuine institutional commitment. Each theme illustrates the unique challenges that these students face in persisting at a predominantly White institution. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Rashné R. Jehangir is currently an assistant Professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Jehangir attended University of Minnesota where she received her Ph. D. in Educational Policy and Administration with a focus on Higher Education in 2004. Her research specializes in the study of student development, access, retention, and graduation of low-income, first-generation students. Dr. Jehangir is published in multiple research journals and has presented her work at conferences nationwide. Dr. Jehangir has been a McNair faculty mentor for the past two years.