The purpose of this autoethnographic multiple case study was to compare experiences of two first-generation college students pursuing doctoral degrees in music education. Motivations for pursuing an advanced degree were to enact change in the field of music education and fulfill personal ambitions. Participants encountered two challenges, insufficient cognitive maps and inadequate familial support, which contributed to financial difficulties and health issues. Support networks inside and outside of their music education doctoral programs facilitated degree attainment. Participants lacked the cultural capital needed to navigate higher education because of their first-generation status. Instead, participants employed several forms of community cultural wealth: social, navigational, resistant, and familial capital. Through examining each other’s experiences, we offer suggestions for preparing and supporting a more diverse group of future music teacher educators.
- Community cultural wealth
- Cultural capital
- First-generation college student
- Music education
ASJC Scopus subject areas