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SOCIAL INTEGRATION OF LOW-INCOME MINORITY STUDENTS AT PREDOMINANTLY WHITE UNIVERSITIES Courtney Luedke Affordability and Attainment in Wisconsin Public.

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Presentation on theme: "SOCIAL INTEGRATION OF LOW-INCOME MINORITY STUDENTS AT PREDOMINANTLY WHITE UNIVERSITIES Courtney Luedke Affordability and Attainment in Wisconsin Public."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOCIAL INTEGRATION OF LOW-INCOME MINORITY STUDENTS AT PREDOMINANTLY WHITE UNIVERSITIES Courtney Luedke Affordability and Attainment in Wisconsin Public Higher Education Madison WI July 8 th, 2011

2 Motivation for study There is a sizable gap in graduation rates by race/ethnicity – Demographic changes and equity concerns make this especially important to resolve – There are efficiency reasons as well—dropout is costly to all involved Prior research links social integration to graduation prospects

3 Highlights of Prior Research Precursors of college degree completion include: – Academic preparation – Financial Support – Social Integration Social integration is typically defined by student involvement in campus activities (clubs, sports, etc.), supplemental programming and residing on campus. – Common efforts to enhance integration include enrichment and support services

4 Research Question If social integration is important for graduation prospects, what are the processes or mechanisms through which minority students are successfully integrated into college life?

5 This Study First year experience of minority students at four Wisconsin universities “Minority” includes: Black, Latino, Southeast Asian or Hmong and Native American I focus on a group of high-achievers: – 20 students (the full study sample is 287) – Persistence rate to the 3 rd year of college is 95% (compared to 75% overall) – Interviewing requires consent—consenters are more socially integrated and appear to be higher-achieving as well (coincidence?)

6 Sample Characteristics Compared to other minority students in the WSLS, students in my sample were: – More likely to have felt they made more friends during first semester (93% vs. 75%) – More likely to live in the dorms (70% vs. 57%) – More likely to spend time participating in extracurricular organizations

7 Methods In-depth in-person interviews – Conducted twice during the 1 st year of college – Transcribed – Coded for postsecondary institutional resources and social networking and relationships – Confidentiality of participants maintained

8 3 Focal Findings Campus Residency Enrichment Programs Extracurricular Involvement

9 Campus Residency KIA:It is so much easier to meet people when you are in the dorms than it is when you live off campus....Plus the learning community, all of us live in the same dorm, or most of us in the same dorm. So we can all go down to each other's room and be like, ‘oh I need help on this homework, and what did you get, or can you show me how to do this?’ And then we just, I don't know, we can help each other a lot easier than if we live, like if one of us lived off campus. Then we would have to walk to that person's house or the person has to walk onto campus. So it is a lot easier.

10 Campus Residency Meeting friends in the dorms – Level of comfort Convenience Exchange of friendship network Students residing off campus

11 Enrichment Programs TOU:.... The other advisor just advises you generally like take all your generals first and then she does not go into details, like in SSS you have to take this class, this class, you got to contact this professor because I am in criminal justice and I do not know who to contact so she said [who to] contact and she gave me a name and a room number and all that stuff. ‘Set up an appointment with him or her then come back to me and if you have any questions’. She is a little more in depth. INTERVIEWER: Did she help you with anything else…? TOU:Tutoring. Did I mention where I was tutored.... Yeah it was her that hooked me up with tutoring and everything. I guess it is much quieter over in the diversity building. They have a lower level where the tutors tutor one-on-one and she gets her former students who are like upper level teaching freshman and sophomores, which is pretty cool. INTERVIEWER: Is there anything else she has been able to help you out with? TOU: Getting into, multi-student union.... I guess she wanted me to participate more in campus activities.

12 Enrichment Programs Advisors who went above and beyond – Tutored students themselves – Counseled students on personal matters – More personable Social networking opportunities Smaller learning environments Friendships Learning Communities

13 Extracurricular Involvement CELINA: Well it is also a way to get out there. Like also to meet new people, plus it is a Latin based sorority so it's also, we share that common factor too. It is also meaningful and you grow a bond, so it's like stuff that I go through they have gone through too. Because most of them are older, there are juniors and sophomores and stuff, so they have more experience too.

14 Extracurricular Involvement Racial/Ethnic emphasis Great avenue to meet same racial/ethnic group peers Friendship Building Advice/Information related to major – College-going information

15 Implications Students were engaged in activities that appeared to promote persistence The range of these activities was wide and included residing on campus, participation in learning communities, enrichment programs and various types of student organizations We do not know how this engagement may affect their grades or other areas of their lives


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