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Supporting the Engagement, Learning, and Success of At-Risk Students Tom Brown Compass Project Learning Community Meeting April 23, 2010

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting the Engagement, Learning, and Success of At-Risk Students Tom Brown Compass Project Learning Community Meeting April 23, 2010"— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting the Engagement, Learning, and Success of At-Risk Students Tom Brown Compass Project Learning Community Meeting April 23,

2 Today’s Workshop…. What existing offices, programs, services, and people need to collaborate in support of specific at-risk groups? What new programs, services and interventions might you need to develop and implement?

3 There are within us seeds of who we might become. Thich Nhat Hanh

4 The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate "apparently ordinary" people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people. K. Patricia Cross, Professor of Higher Education Emerita University of California, Berkeley

5 Transforming Students Through Validation Even the most non-traditional students can be transformed into powerful learners through in- and out-of-class academic or interpersonal validation. Dr. Laura Rendon, 1994

6 Some Institutions seem to be more effective than others in helping students from a wide range of abilities and backgrounds succeed… How College Affects Students Pascarelli & Terenzini, 2005

7 Retention practices with greatest impact 1. First-year programs 2. Advising interventions for specific student populations 3. Learning support Habley & McClanahan, WWISR 2004 Habley & McClanahan, WWISR 2004

8 Retention practices with greatest impact Advising interventions for specific student populations

9 Treating everyone the same may be equal treatment, but it may not be equitable treatment.

10 A principle: Human beings seek to economize on the energy required to make distinctions.

11 Human beings seek to economize on the energy required to make distinctions. Most houseplants die because we treat them all the same.

12 Categories of “otherness” Beverly D. Tatum, 1997 “Otherness” Race/ethnicity Race/ethnicity Gender Gender Religion Religion Sexual Orientation Sexual Orientation Socio-economic status Socio-economic status Age Age Physical/Mental Ability Physical/Mental Ability Form of oppression Racism/ethnocentrism Racism/ethnocentrism Sexism Sexism Religious oppression Religious oppression Heterosexism Heterosexism Classism Classism Ageism Ageism Ableism Ableism

13 Some at-risk groups in education First-generation/Low SES students First-generation/Low SES students Adult and re-entry students Adult and re-entry students Student with disabilities Student with disabilities Student-Athletes Student-Athletes First-year students First-year students Undecided students Undecided students LGBTQ students LGBTQ students Students of Color Students of Color Underprepared students Underprepared students Transfer students Transfer students

14 Some at-risk groups in education First-generation students First-generation students Adult and re-entry students Adult and re-entry students Student with disabilities Student with disabilities Student-Athletes Student-Athletes First-year students First-year students Undecided students Undecided students LGBTQ students LGBTQ students Students of Color Students of Color Underprepared students Underprepared students Transfer students Transfer students Others?? Others??

15 First-generation-Low SES Students

16 Human beings seek to economize….

17 Multiple issues First-generation/Low SES AND also… First-generation/Low SES AND also… Adult and re-entry students Adult and re-entry students Student with disabilities Student with disabilities Student-Athletes Student-Athletes First-year students First-year students Undecided students Undecided students LGBTQ students LGBTQ students Students of Color Students of Color Underprepared students Underprepared students Transfer students Transfer students

18 America’s education system is driven by class distinctions to a degree most Americans don’t acknowledge and perhaps don’t even comprehend…. Tearing Down the Gates Peter Sacks, 2007

19 The idea that the offspring of the poor have chances as good as the offspring of the rich, well that’s not true. It is not respectable in scholarly circles anymore to make that argument…. Gary Solon, Economist University of Michigan New York Times, May 15, 2005

20 Multiple Issues… Hispanic students are much less likely than white students to have a parent who attended college. “Academe’s Hispanic Future” Chronicle of Higher Education 11/28/03 Peter Schmidt

21 Non-Academic Challenges for First-Generation Students Learning to negotiate a campus system Learning to negotiate a campus system Adapting to a more competitive academic setting Adapting to a more competitive academic setting Having family and friends who don’t understand the demands of college and/or who may be unsupportive of students’ decisions to attend Having family and friends who don’t understand the demands of college and/or who may be unsupportive of students’ decisions to attend Feeling overwhelmed Feeling overwhelmed Texas Tech PEGASUS Program

22 Academic Challenges for First-Generation Students Time management issues Time management issues Lack of adequate academic preparation Lack of adequate academic preparation Need to connect academic programs to career goals Need to connect academic programs to career goals Others?? Others??

23 Following identified as critical to student success…. First-year programs: summer bridge, orientation programs, FYE courses, Freshman Interest groups (FIGs) First-year programs: summer bridge, orientation programs, FYE courses, Freshman Interest groups (FIGs) Learning communities Learning communities Integrated courses clusters (e.g., math course linked with study skills and tutoring) Integrated courses clusters (e.g., math course linked with study skills and tutoring)

24 Increasing student success…. Continuous advisor/advisee contact throughout the first semester/year Continuous advisor/advisee contact throughout the first semester/year Designated faculty or staff to act as “first responders” to help students navigate campus systems Designated faculty or staff to act as “first responders” to help students navigate campus systems Proactive referrals to sources of assistance and support (e.g., tutoring, instructional labs, counseling, career services) Proactive referrals to sources of assistance and support (e.g., tutoring, instructional labs, counseling, career services) Outreach to help students feel comfortable on campus and to encourage involvement Outreach to help students feel comfortable on campus and to encourage involvement

25 Facilitating parent/family involvement and providing means for keeping parents/families informed can help to maintain familial ties that are so important to students. First-Year College Experiences of Students From Migrant Farmworker Families, Journal of the First Year Experience, 2004

26 Orientation and transition programs are critical for new students and their families. This is especially true for first- generation students.

27 What strengths do low SES students bring that could enhance their opportunities for success?

28 Link to Resources First-generation Students AdvisingIssues/1st_Generation.htm AdvisingIssues/1st_Generation.htm

29 Students of Color Multicultural Students

30 Categories of “otherness” Beverly D. Tatum, 1997 “Otherness” Race/ethnicity Race/ethnicity Gender Gender Religion Religion Sexual Orientation Sexual Orientation Socio-economic status Socio-economic status Age Age Physical/Mental Ability Physical/Mental Ability Form of oppression Racism/ethnocentrism Racism/ethnocentrism Sexism Sexism Religious oppression Religious oppression Heterosexism Heterosexism Classism Classism Ageism Ageism Ableism Ableism

31 Not a “zero sum” game, with winners and losers…. COMPETE Com = together Petire = to seek Creating Unum from the Pluribus Creating Unum from the Pluribus

32 “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed that is not faced.” James Baldwin

33 Some Americans Are Much Less Likely to Graduate From College

34 Gaps between white and students of color graduation rates range from 15% to nearly 30% at the four Compass campuses. College Results On-line

35 A Challenge in Managing Diversity Efforts to teach about diverse groups can lead to stereotyping. People from the same group are often diverse based on SES, education, age, gender, individual experiences, etc.

36 Although there has been widespread interest in addressing issues surrounding the lack of success for Micmac and Maliseet students efforts to date have tended to be “one size fits all” solutions. UMPI Project Compass Proposal

37 Diversity in Diversity: American Indian/First Nation 545 Tribal groups recognized by the US government languages spoken. Many identify as members of a specific tribal group and may not consider members of other groups as “Indians.” Wells, 1989

38 There are pockets of the UMPI community that do not respect the cultural diversity represented by Native American students. UMPI Project Compass Assumptions

39 Asian Pacific American Groups Asian IndianChineseFilipino Guamanian HawaiianHmongJapanese KoreanLaotian PakistaniSamoan ThaiVietnamese Philippines:7000 islands 100+ languages DIVERSITY IN DIVERSITY

40 Asians reflect both the highest and lowest levels of academic achievement….Hmong, Cambodians, and Pacific Islanders have some of the lowest academic achievement and high school graduation rates, while Chinese and Japanese have some of the highest. Higher Education Issues in the Asian American Community Suzuki, 1994

41 My teachers told me I wouldn’t succeed in college because I had a 770 SAT score. I earned my MA from NYU and a Ph.D. from Indiana University…. Daisy Rodriquez-Pitel, Ph.D Assistant to the President Pima Community College

42 Diversity in Diversity: Black Is the “Black” student US born, or from a Haitian, West Indian, or African immigrant family? As with all groups, it is important to make distinctions based on socio- economic class, gender, etc.

43 African American students are more likely to find faculty members remote, discouraging, and unsympathetic. Exploring Distinctions in Types of Faculty Interactions Among Black, Latino/a, and White College Students. Cole and Anaya, 2001.

44 Diversity in Diversity: Latino/Hispanic Twenty Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries in the Western Hemisphere. Often “Latino” is used in contrast to others who are not Spanish speaking. Often identify based on country of origin (e.g., Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba).

45 Students of color base their decisions on whether or not to persist on the quality of their interactions with faculty…. Cabrera, Terenzini, et. al. Journal of Higher Education, 1999

46 Critical Issues for Students of Color Difference between college and previous educational settings Difference between college and previous educational settings “Minority” for the first time “Minority” for the first time Lack of mentors and role models Lack of mentors and role models Negative attitudes of faculty and peers Negative attitudes of faculty and peers Issues of identity development Brown and Rivas, 1997, 2004 Issues of identity development Brown and Rivas, 1997, 2004

47 Minority Identity Development A Stage Model Pre-encounter Pre-encounter Encounter Encounter Immersion Immersion Emersion Emersion Internalization Internalization Cross, 1971; Atkinson, Morten, and Sue, 1983

48 The Autobiography of Malcolm X An Example of Minority Identity Development

49 Racial identity attitudes influence students’ decisions about classes, peers, faculty, advisors, counselors, even the extent to which they identify or disidentify with academic work.

50 Employment of a Native American counselor to advise students and serve as an advocate for Native American issues on campus… UMPI Project Compass Proposal

51 Effective Strategies Transition programs—summer bridge, culturally relevant orientation programming, Transition programs—summer bridge, culturally relevant orientation programming, Inclusive curriculum and co-curriculum Inclusive curriculum and co-curriculum Diverse faculty and staff Diverse faculty and staff Expectation of “cultural competence” for all faculty and staff Expectation of “cultural competence” for all faculty and staff Professional development for faculty and staff Professional development for faculty and staff

52 Effective Strategies Peer mentoring programs Peer mentoring programs Faculty and staff mentor programs Faculty and staff mentor programs Active outreach to connect with campus and community resources Active outreach to connect with campus and community resources Intrusive academic advising program Intrusive academic advising program

53 Pluralistic Teaching and Advising Skills Understand, acknowledge, value difference. Understand, acknowledge, value difference. Self-assess biases and attitudes. Self-assess biases and attitudes. Increase knowledge base of diverse groups Increase knowledge base of diverse groups Use culturally appropriate strategies. Use culturally appropriate strategies. Avoid over-generalizations. Avoid over-generalizations. Brown & Rivas, 1994, 1997, 2004

54 What strengths do multicultural/ students of color bring that could enhance their opportunities for success?

55 Underprepared Students

56 Students are not alone; colleges too are underprepared… Carnegie Foundation, 2008

57 Most faculty have no particular training to teach underprepared students. Carnegie Foundation, 2008

58 A Definition of Underpreparedness A student whose skills, knowledge, and motivation are significantly below those of the “typical” student in the college or program in which s/he is enrolled. Maxwell, 1997

59 The major inhibitor to possible success for the underprepared student is the psychological distance that most faculty maintain between themselves and their students. Spann, Spann, and Confer. 1995

60 Cognitive, Emotional and Behavioral Barriers Undermining attributions Undermining attributions Ego involvement Ego involvement Reluctance to seek assistance Reluctance to seek assistance Rivas & Brown, 2007

61 Attributions When something happens in life, how do I/others explain the cause?

62 Attributions The world asks me why. I provide an explanation (attribution). My future behavior depends on the type of attribution.

63 Ability or Effort? By the time students reach high school, they generally believe that ability is a relatively fixed, unchangeable capacity. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 1983

64 “Those students can’t do Calculus….”

65 “I can’t do Calculus….”

66 Shift attributions from ability to background. Students’ attributions and those of faculty and staff.

67 Strategies That Work Proactive interventions Proactive interventions Target services for specific populations Target services for specific populations Encourage group study Encourage group study Develop skills in context Develop skills in context Encourage utilization of campus resources Encourage utilization of campus resources Connect with mentors Connect with mentors

68 Link to Resources Underprepared students AdvisingIssues/Academically- Underprepared.htm AdvisingIssues/Academically- Underprepared.htm

69 Treat people as if they were what they should be, and you can help them become what they are capable of becoming. Goethe


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