Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have long ranging effects on life outcomes and opportunity. Students with high ACEs have many barriers to postsecondary education, including being more vulnerable to attrition than their lower ACE counterparts. Little is known about these students, yet they are integral to university and college life across the nation. Understanding how they experience and navigate stress is vital for creating structures and services which support their matriculation.
By further exploring the connections between academic performance and high ACEs, institutions can develop trauma-informed practices and policies to better meet the needs of a growing diversity of students on college campuses. Because first-generation students form one of the fastest growing demographics in higher education and this study reveals that they are prone to higher levels of ACEs than their multi-generational counterparts, these considerations should be a critical area of focus in the near future. This research suggests that institutions should focus efforts on adopting trauma informed practices.
During this session, the presenter will discuss an ongoing mixed-methods research study exploring how students at a 4-year university with a high number of ACEs experience and navigate their transition into college-level coursework. This session will conclude with a call for postsecondary education to adopt trauma informed practices in order to better support student success for our most vulnerable student populations.
This session will provide participants with:
- an introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs);
- an understanding of how ACEs influence life outcomes and opportunity;
- an understanding of how ACEs influence students’ transition into higher education;
- an understanding of how ACEs influence students’ higher education experiences; and
- an introduction to Trauma Informed Practices and suggested implementation at the collegiate level.