A specific period of time and shared experiences are the key factors used by most scholars to describe a generation. Members of same generation usually develop common values and behaviors. Generations develop in a repeated manner instead of evolving linearly as extensions of previous cohorts (both complementing the main generation and filling the cultural vacuum left by their precursors) (Elam, Stratton & Gibson, 2007). Nearly all students who are enrolled in universities and colleges belongs to generation X and Millennial groups with the last being the most recent enrollees.
Elam, Stratton & Gibson (2007) state that Millennial students, as youths, were influenced by a single set of forces. They observed the unfolding of Desert Storm in Iraq and the constant real time media coverage generated by the storm. They encountered school lock-downs and high security. When growing up, they heard presidential sound bites, “tear down this wall”, and read “My lips”. Many positive qualities have been instilled in Millennial Students by growing up in this cultural atmosphere. Millennial students also present challenges to teachers, administrators and counselors in spite of their positive qualities. Millennial students are usually very close to their parents, who presume participatory responsibilities in educational pursuit of their children.
Parents of college-bound students from preceding generations have become aware that formal education marked the transition from youth to adolescence and on to adulthood. Many parents of college-going students from previous generations sought to offer some type of support regardless of whether it is emotional or financial. This is because they knew their aspirations for a higher education (Elam, Stratton & Gibson, 2007). Currently, parents are still supportive forces in the education of their children. Nevertheless, there is a sign that the level of parental involvement is evolving from the proud, supportive parents who offer inert encouragement to the violently protective parents who presume an active responsibility in the educational experiences of their children. In previous generations, parents of Millennial students were highly aware of progress of their children from their primary school and their associate learning activities (Elam, Stratton & Gibson, 2007). Because of the rising interests of parents of Millennial students in the college selection decisions, numerous colleges and universities have parent-oriented connections on their campus Web sites so as to provide information and resources to frequently asked questions about the institutions.
According to Elam, Stratton & Gibson (2007), the significance of parents in the college-choice procedure has been understood for long by college admission officers. Many colleges and universities have parent-oriented on their links on their campus Web site to offer resources and information to frequently asked questions regarding the institution because of the growing interest of parents of Millennial students in collection selection decision. Millennial students have worked together in groups on team projects, usually receiving group grade throughout their primary and secondary education. They have developed skills, which not only guarantee mutual inclusiveness, but also the expectation, which all group members do their part because they are encouraged to be collaborative and cooperative.
Lastly, Millennial students are defined as optimistic and confident about their future. This generation of students is felt to own great positive potential for society while it is thought to present modern and prospective challenges to educators thus, leading Howe and Straus to refer to them as the next greatest generation. Unfortunately, a general discussion of Millennial generation students is not supposed to mean that all personal members of this group have been afforded same degrees of financial, personal and social support.
Elam, C., Stratton, T. & Gibson, B. (2007). Welcoming a new generation to college: The millennial students. Journal of College Admission, 2007.