Been There, Done That: Peer Coaching and Community Cultural Wealth

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Peer coaching is an emerging approach higher education institutions are using to increase student success outcomes for first-year students. This study examined how peer coaches use their community cultural wealth

Peer coaching is an emerging approach higher education institutions are using to increase student success outcomes for first-year students. This study examined how peer coaches use their community cultural wealth with the students they coach and how coaching encouraged first-generation students to access the community cultural wealth they bring with them to college. The theoretical framework guiding this study was Yosso’s theory of community cultural wealth. I used a qualitative approach and interviewed five peer coaches and conducted focus groups with 15 first-generation, first-year students who had received coaching. Findings indicate peer coaches used the six dimensions of community cultural wealth with students they coach, including aspirational, familial, linguistic, navigational, resistant, and social capital. Students also reported peer coaching helped them access their community cultural wealth, especially as compared to advising and faculty interactions. Three key differentiators emerged when comparing coaching to other forms of support: relatability, sense of belonging, and self-confidence.