Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education
Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education
The Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education Knowledge Community (SCIHE KC) strives to be dynamic and supportive around issues of class and socioeconomic status as they affect Higher Education. The SCIHE KC envisions an environment where student affairs educators have access to information, training, and resources that help them to understand how these issues alter the college and university landscape.
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This page provides academic resources that can help you learn more about some of the important socioeconomic and class issues that impact higher education policy, faculty, staff, and students. Inclusion on this list does not represent endorsement of the information, site, or organization by NASPA and any of its entities. This list is not comprehensive.
We hope you find these resources valuable. Please email Victoria Svoboda, Research Coordinator, at [email protected] if you would like to suggest additions to this list.
Adams, R., Brewer, R., Leondar-Wright, B., Lui, M., & Robles, B. with United for a Fair Economy. (2005). The color of wealth: How government actions widen the racial wealth divide. The New Press.
· Davis, J. (2010). The first generation student experience: Implications for campus practice, and strategies for improving. Stylus.
· Espenshade, T. J., & Walton Radford, A. (2009). No longer separate, not yet equal: Race and class in elite college admission and campus life. Princeton University Press.
· Heinz Housel, T., & Harvey, V. L. (2010). The invisibility factor: Administrators and faculty reach out to first-generation college students. Brown Walker Press.
· hooks, b. (2000). Where we stand: Class matters. Routledge.
· Hurst, A. (2010). The burden of academic success: Managing working-class identities in college (loyalists, renegades and double agents). Lexington Books.
· Jehangir, R. R. (2010). Higher education and first-generation students: Cultivating community, voice and place for the new majority. Palgrave Macmillan Press.
· Jensen, B. (2012). Reading classes: On culture and classism in America. Cornell University Press.
· Korgen, K. O. (2010). Multiracial Americans and social class: The influence of social class on racial identity. Routledge.
· Lareau, A. (2011). Unequal childhoods: Class, race, and family life, 2nd edition with an update a decade later. University of California Press.
· Sacks, P. (2007). Tearing down the gates: Confronting the class divide in American education. University of California Press.
· The New York Times. (2005). Class matters / correspondents of the New York Times. Times Books.
· Van Galen, J. A., & Dempsey, V. O. (2009). Trajectories: The social and educational mobility of education scholars from poor and working class backgrounds. Sense Publishers.
· Ward, L., Siegel, M. J., & Davenport, Z. (2012). First-generation college students: Understanding and improving the experience from recruitment to commencement. Jossey-Bass.
· Weis, L. & Dolby, N. (2012). Social class and education: Global perspectives. Routledge.
Interested in learning more about social class issues? We encourage you to explore the following:
· Education & Class, a blog by Dr. Jane Van Galen who frequently highlights class-related media, including the Harvard article above. She is also behind the digital storytelling project, First in Our Families.
· Classism Exposed, a blog by Class Action, a non-profit organization doing amazing work, including hosting first-generation summits and exceptional classism workshops for student affairs professionals. We highly recommend their work, which (unlike some other class-based organizations) pays great attention to race, gender, and other intersections with class.
Community on Homelessness and Foster Care
The Community on students who have experienced Foster Care or Homelessness invites you to join us at the 2020 NASPA Conference in Austin Texas! Look for our sub-community kick off gathering! More informtion to come...
- Dr. Kizzy Lopez, Fresno Pacific University
- Email: [email protected]
- David Meyers, University of Georgia
- Email: [email protected]
- Email: [email protected]
Resources Related to Foster and Homeless Students
- California College Pathways - Resources for Campus Professionals. This initiative by the Walter S. Johnson Foundation presents information and resources for Campus Professionals, Foster Youth Scholars, Supportive Adults, and those wanting to Get Involved. Their website is an exceptional source of advocacy, practice, and policy information targeting young adults in and from foster care.
- Improving Higher Education Outcomes for Young Adults in Foster Care: Readings, Resources, Program Links, Casey Family Programs, Seattle, WA. This continuously updated listing of readings, resources, research, and program exemplars provides a wide array of information for practitioners, policymakers, and advocates to advance their work. Hyperlinks are provided for all listings.
- WMU President John Dunn speaking at Fostering Success Michigan's (FSM) 3rd Annual Summit (2014). Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, video. Western Michigan University president John Dunn speaks on how the University came to prioritize improved attention to the support needs of students coming from foster care. The establishment of the Seita Scholars Program and the statewide Fostering Success Michigan initiative resulted from Dr. Dunn's commitment.
- Supporting success: Improving higher education outcomes for students from foster care - A framework for program enhancement - Version 2.0 (2010). Casey Family Programs, Seattle, WA. This guide was developed by higher education and child welfare leaders to provide a sound collaborative framework for improving postsecondary supports for students from foster care. It details twelve core elements for implementing an effective model to improve higher education outcomes and provides examples of exemplary programs at four year and community colleges.
- Jones, M. G. (2014). Outline to Improve the Postsecondary Educational Outcomes of Students from Foster Care. Foster Care to Success, Sterling, Va., August 12. This outline provides an overview of the extant literature about the barriers young people from foster care experience in postsecondary education, and sheds light on why they often fare so poorly.
- Foster Youth Campus Support Programs: A Leadership Guide (2013). California College Pathways,June. This guide is divided into four sections. The first discusses advance work that a campus can engage in to create a support plan. The second section describes the various elements that may be included. The third provides information on other considerations related to the development and maintenance of a successful support model. The final section provides samples of forms that are referenced throughout the document that can be adapted for use by a developing program.
- Emerson. J., Duffield, B., Salazar, A. & Unrau, Y. (2012). The path to success: Creating campus support systems for foster and homeless students. Leadership Exchange, NASPA, Summer, pp. 8-13. This NASPA Leadership Exchange feature article provides an overview of the challenges facing college students from foster care and homeless students. Recommended support practices, resources, and policies are provided to Student Affairs staff and leadership.
- Lovitt, T. & Emerson, J. (2008). Foster youth who have succeeded in higher education: Common themes, NCSET Information Brief, April. Successful college graduates from foster care were interviewed to learn about their perspectives on going to college and obtaining a degree despite facing numerous barriers. Fifteen major themes concerning college success and a general outlook on life are identified.
- Fostering Success Michigan (FSM) is building a statewide collective-impact strategy that strives to prepare young people in foster care between the ages of 12 to 25 across the state of Michigan. FSM will increase awareness, access, and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth and alumni of foster care.
- California College Pathways provides resources and leadership to campuses and community organizations to help foster youth succeed at community colleges, vocational schools, and four-year universities. California College Pathways is helping foster youth across the state achieve their higher education goals and move on to fulfilling careers.
- Foster Care to Success (FC2S) is a national nonprofit organization working solely with college bound foster youth. They help students navigate the tricky waters of academic, understand the importance of personal fiscal responsibility, determine achievable career goals, and create networks of friendship and support. They provide scholarships, tuition grants, academic coaches, personal mentors, care packages, and internship opportunities.
- National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
- Geis, Q., (2015). Exploring the Academic and Social Experiences of Homeless College Students. University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Educational Administration: Theses, Dissertations and Student Research, Spring 5.
- Single Point of Contact (SPOC) Webinar: Best Practices to Support Homeless and Foster Youth on College Campuses. Webinar presentation from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, Spring 2016.
If you know of a critical piece of literature or helpful resource on this topic that has not been included please contact one of the co-chairs. We would love your input!
Professionals from Poor and Working Class
Are you a graduate student, student affairs professional, or faculty member from a working class, blue collar, and/or lower socioeconomic background? Are you interested in increasing conversations about class and sharing class navigation techniques – not just for the students with whom you work but also for your own career development?
The Professionals from the Poor and Working Class group within NASPA’s Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education (SCIHE) Knowledge Community strives to increase the conversation and contribution around:
· defining class, noticing whose class/capital matters most in different higher education settings
· (re)defining professionalism and socialization in student affairs, whether for students or for professionals
· navigating class straddling issues in higher education (e.g., as job searching or salary negotiation discussions often reinforce professional/ruling class norms) or issues in social, family, or personal lives (e.g., cross-class relationships)
· disrupting deficit ideologies and promote Yosso’s community cultural wealth model, to highlight the strengths provided by our class backgrounds
· creating community for those from working class, blue collar, and/or lower income backgrounds…particularly if they sense their colleagues and/or institutions do not share that experience
· affirming intersections with race/ethnicity, gender identity or expression, ability, sexual orientation, immigration status, etc. (e.g., Race Forward’s project on “Clocking In,” a recent faculty narrative in the Chronicle, another piece re: the myth of gay affluence in the Atlantic, another piece on how class does not trump race)
Regardless of current class identities (attributed, claimed, or desired), student affairs practitioners from working class, blue collar, or lower income backgrounds may have similar experiences in the student affairs profession to what they did while in college. The purpose of this group is to engage in conversations about how class identities shape our practice, always mindful of how other identities also impact our class experiences.
How to Get Involved
We welcome anyone who would like to contribute to this group and increase the conversation on class identity within the profession. The work of the group is organized into three areas:
1. Research and Conference Program Development (coordinated by Sonja)
2. Community and Professional Development (coordinated by Heather)
3. Blog and Podcast Development (coordinated by Heather)
Please contact the appropriate coordinator(s) for your areas of interest.
We also encourage new ideas for how this group can contribute to the field; so please also feel free to email us with new ideas or programs that you believe would increase the conversation.