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Table of contents :
Series Editor Preface
Notes on Contributors
List of Figures
List of Tables
1: Examining Diversity, Change, and Urbanization in Higher Education
Contextualizing Diversity in Higher Education
Why Is a New Focus on Diversity Needed in Higher Education?
Current Approaches to Systemic Changes for Diversity and Inclusion
Chapters on Bridging Marginality in Higher Education
Themes of Inquiry
2: Student Affairs-Academic Affairs Collaborations to Support Diverse Communities
Case 1: Rider University—a Campus Catching Up with the Diversity of Its Students
Case 2: Saint Louis University—Values-Centered Leadership in a Moment of Crisis
Lessons Learned and Call to Action
Knowledge Capacity
Physical or Material Capacity
Institutional Willingness to Reflect
Connection with Institutional Operations
Racial Climate and Intergroup Relations
In Closing
3: Anti-Asian Racism in the COVID Era: Implications for Higher Education
A Broader Historical Context of Anti-Asian Racism
Asian Americans and Campus Climate
Asian Americans and Diversity Initiatives
4: Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality: Future Directions for Research and Practice
Diversity in Latin* Identities
Latin*’s Identities in College
Latin* Students’ Intersectionality
Multilevel Model of Intersectionality
Latin* Students’ Intersectional Experiences and Outcomes
Complicating How We Understand Latin* Students’ Identities and Experiences
Afro-Latin* Students
Undocumented Latin* Students
Advancing Intersectional Understandings of Latin* Students
Recognize Limitations in Existing Data on Latin* Students
Disaggregate Existing Data to Examine Latin* Students’ Experiences and Outcomes
Engage in Data Collection Practices Allowing for Intersectional Examinations
Address Intersectional Needs of Latin* Students
5: Click to Connect: An Ethic of Care Approach to Serving First-Generation Students Online
Study Design
How Can Post-secondary Institutions Develop a Critical Care Approach for First-Generation Support Services Online?
6: Engaging LGBTQ+ Students on College Campuses in Urban and Urban-Emerging Settings
Positionality Statements
Literature Review
LGBTQ+ Engagement and Student Success
Recommendations for Connecting LGBTQ+ Engagement to Urban and Urban-Emerging Settings
Assessing Climate Outside of the Institutional Context
Connections to Off-Campus Organizations and Communities
Bridging Urban and Urban-Emerging Settings with the Curricula
Preparation for Post-college Aspirations
7: An Inside Voice Fighting for the “Outsiders”: Student Engagement, Purpose, and Legacy on Boards of Higher Education
Student Involvement in Higher Education
Student Engagement
Student Activism and Social Change
Early Student Activism
Student Activism in the 1960s: Student Activists as Social Agents
Student Activism in the 1970s and 1980s: Changing Strategies in Public Affairs
Student Activism in the 1990s: Refining Organizations and Building Alliances to Protect and Advance Individual Rights
Student Activism Today
The Role of Student Trustees in Higher Education Today: Activists to Advocates
Our Study, the Legacy of Student Activism in the Trusteeship
Creating Measurable and Immediate Impact Programs
Structural Recognition of Student Trustees
8: Investigating the Community in Community Colleges: The Role of Context for Undocumented College Students
Community Colleges
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Politics, Community, and Immigration
A Community College Comparison
Study I: Immigration Attitudes Tied to College Context
Study II: Lived Experiences
Implications for Administrators and Faculty
9: Advancing Equal Pay in Higher Education: An Intersectional Examination of Structures, Socialization, and Solutions to Close the Gender Wage Gap
Inequity Maintained Through Structures
Inequity Maintained Through Socialization
Implicit Bias
Additional Considerations: Microaggressions and Other Organizational Dynamics
Moving Forward
Evaluation and Accountability
Recruitment and Representational Diversity
Culture and Retention
Leadership and Mentoring
10: #SocialEquityMatters: A Multimodal Approach to Strengthening Student Success Through Innovation
Promising Practices for Social Equity and Justice
Concluding Thoughts
11: Leveling the Playing Field for Students with Disabilities in Online Opportunities
Frameworks, Principles, and Practices
Universal Design in Higher Education
UDHE and Online Learning
Building a Model for an Inclusive Campus
12: Indigenizing Narratives and Honoring Place in Academia
Honor Our Lands and Our Narratives
The University of Washington Tacoma
Call for Action
Land Recognition
Create Space with Indigenous Students
Hire Indigenous Faculty
Center Indigenous Voices in the Curriculum
Impact of a Pandemic on Indigenous Students and Community in Urban Areas
13: The Lessons We Learn from African American Striving in US Higher Education
How Is Striving Related to African American Student Success?
African Americans and Success in College
African American Striving and College Challenges
COVID-19 and African American Students
What Are Systemic Change Issues Associated with Student Striving?
Individual Agency
Environmental Support
14: Toward an Inclusive Excellence University: Building a Culture Where Black People Thrive in the University of California
No Golden Age for Racial Redress: The California Masterplan for Higher Education (1960) and the UC
UC and UCI: Growth, Diversity, and Backlash
Demanding Racial Justice: The Limitations of a Commitment to Diversity When the Consideration of Race Illegal
Toward an Inclusive Excellence University: Moving Racial Equity from the Margins to the Center of the University
Conclusion: A Black Thriving University Campus and Post-secondary Educational System in California
15: Going Forward
Examining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education
Current Influences
Opportunities for Change
Proposing an Agenda for Change
The Duality of Accountability
The Intentionality of Social Justice
The Promise of Partnerships
The Necessity of Systemic Supports
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Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education Edited by Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth

Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality

Series Editors Carol Camp Yeakey Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO, USA Walter R. Allen University of California Los Angeles, CA, USA

This series examines the ecology of neighborhoods and communities in not only twenty-first century America, but across the globe. By taking an ecological approach, the study of neighborhoods takes into account not just structures, buildings and geographical boundaries, but also the relationship and adjustment of humans to highly dense urban environments in a particular area or vicinity. As the violent events of the past year in marginalized urban neighborhoods and communities across the country have demonstrated, “place matters.” The series contain original research about the power of place, that is, the importance of where one lives, how public policies have transformed the shape and geography of inequality and disparity in our metropolitan areas, and, the ways in which residents impacted by perceived inequality are trying to confront the problem. More information about this series at

Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth Editor

Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education

Editor Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA, USA

Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality ISBN 978-981-16-7999-5    ISBN 978-981-16-8000-7 (eBook) © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover illustration: Contributor: Brain light / Alamy Stock Photo This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. The registered company address is: 152 Beach Road, #21-01/04 Gateway East, Singapore 189721, Singapore

Series Editor Preface

Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education comes at a most opportune time in our nation’s history, indeed in global affairs. Universities, far from being secluded ivory towers for the education and ambition of a privileged few, are now agents of human and societal well-­ being, reflecting all the social, political, and economic pressures of the urbanized global societies in which they exist. Bonous-Hammarth’s volume is a perfect fit for our series Neighborhoods, Communities and Urban Marginality because it examines the new and diverse populations which universities must now serve, in tandem with competing, often conflicting demands from constituencies on local, national, and international levels. Education as a human right, as a public good, must be available to all for the advance of any society. Using the US as a case study, she acknowledges the difficulty that individuals and diverse groups have in gaining access to higher education or influencing the modes and matter of academic study. To realize human potential everywhere, Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education seeks ways to welcome and engage with diverse voices and perspectives. In so doing, the volume presents a cross-section of multi-disciplinary, interrelated evidence to enhance a more nuanced definition of diversity, identify practical approaches to equity and inclusion, and set research and practice agendas for systemic change. v


Series Editor Preface

If one wants to understand “why a new focus on diversity is needed in higher education?” read Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education to become more informed and enlightened. We enthusiastically welcome Bonous-Hammarth’s rich contribution to our series as she seeks to intellectually broaden equity and inclusion as levers for positive institutional and broader societal change, in an increasingly diverse global society. St. Louis, MO, USA Los Angeles, CA, USA

Carol Camp Yeakey Walter R. Allen


I am always aware of the village of individuals and the daunting energies needed to provide and sustain forums that promote public reflection, dialogue, and, most importantly, action. I thank the co-series editors, Carol Camp Yeakey and Walter R. Allen for their dedication to bring a transformative social justice lens to considerations about Neighborhoods, Communities and Urban Marginality as a series for Palgrave Macmillan. Their efforts both model and inspire our thinking deeply about human relationships amid social change. I benefitted from their oversight to ensure that this volume represented the series and my goals to aligned ends. It was also my greatest honor to work closely with giants from a field that has shaped my personal drive, optimism, and professional endeavors. Their wisdom and mentorship indelibly have enhanced so many lives and continue to influence my reminders to self to remain curious, vigilant, and informative in connecting higher education activities to practical impacts for its members. I am grateful to have this opportunity to discuss issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in ways that underscore the importance of the relationship of inclusion—and specifically including those voices still underrepresented in our institutions of higher education—with higher education viability. The survival of a viable system of American higher education is tied to its success in engaging its members to their highest potentials. Throughout my years as an educator, I have had the honor to vii

viii Acknowledgments

work with colleagues and on projects highlighting the humanity and social responsibilities of education, and this volume was no exception to such necessary work. I specifically thank the chapter authors for their scholarship that shapes new and important frontiers of knowledge (in alphabetical order): Sheryl Burgstahler, David Caicedo, Kelly Capatosto, Marcella Cuellar, Antonio Duran, Leanna Fenneberg, Carlos Galan, Rose Ann Gutierrez, Douglas Haynes, Lynell Hodge, Annie Le, Robin Minthorn, Mitchell Levy, Bernard Polnariev, Kaity Prieto, Raquel Rall, Cristobal Salinas, Emmanuela Stanislaus, Robert Teranishi, and Amanda Wilkerson. I am mindful that similar to those who toiled through past times of the 1918 pandemic, these individuals were consummate professionals in juggling the life challenges presented by COVID-19 circumstances while resolutely bringing research into practice for the benefit of individuals and learning spaces far beyond their circles. Their points of view and expertise mark exciting directions for educational practice and inquiry, and truly are the gifts that will keep giving to inform more responsive and inclusive institutions of higher education. I thank the staff members of the Palgrave Macmillan team for managing the peer review, publisher editing, and operational processes to produce this volume. In particular, I appreciated the support from Palgrave Editors Rachael Ballard, Joshua Pitt and Connie Li, and Vipin Kumar Mani and the team at Straive to navigate production so seamlessly and to provide ongoing guidance and expertise. Their insights helped to produce an accessible volume that speaks to key issues facing our practitioners, researchers, students, and families concerning higher education. I am grateful to have benefitted from their professional involvement in this work. Finally, I thank my wonderful family circle for the invaluable support and interest in my work for this volume. I thank Gerry, Ingrid, Ramona, Alex, and David for being front and center as cheerleaders while challenging me to produce a volume that would be relevant and usable. I aimed to achieve these goals and I know that their encouragement motivated me for the current and future work ahead. May 2021

Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth


1 Examining Diversity, Change, and Urbanization in Higher Education  1 Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth 2 Student Affairs-Academic Affairs Collaborations to Support Diverse Communities 19 Leanna Fenneberg 3 Anti-Asian Racism in the COVID Era: Implications for Higher Education 43 Robert T. Teranishi, Rose Ann Gutierrez, and Annie Le 4 Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality: Future Directions for Research and Practice 55 Marcela G. Cuellar and Cristobal Salinas Jr. 5 Click to Connect: An Ethic of Care Approach to Serving First-Generation Students Online 85 Lynell S. Hodge, Emmanuela P. Stanislaus, and Amanda Wilkerson


x Contents

6 Engaging LGBTQ+ Students on College Campuses in Urban and Urban-­Emerging Settings 99 Antonio Duran and Kaity Prieto 7 An Inside Voice Fighting for the “Outsiders”: Student Engagement, Purpose, and Legacy on Boards of Higher Education123 Raquel M. Rall and Carlos A. Galan 8 Investigating the Community in Community Colleges: The Role of Context for Undocumented College Students149 David A. Caicedo 9 Advancing Equal Pay in Higher Education: An Intersectional Examination of Structures, Socialization, and Solutions to Close the Gender Wage Gap177 Kelly Capatosto 10 #SocialEquityMatters: A Multimodal Approach to Strengthening Student Success Through Innovation203 Bernard A. Polnariev and Mitchell A. Levy 11 Leveling the Playing Field for Students with Disabilities in Online Opportunities235 Sheryl Burgstahler 12 Indigenizing Narratives and Honoring Place in Academia251 Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn 13 The Lessons We Learn from African American Striving in US Higher Education265 Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth



14 Toward an Inclusive Excellence University: Building a Culture Where Black People Thrive in the University of California283 Douglas Haynes 15 Going Forward311 Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth Index323

Notes on Contributors

Marguerite  Bonous-Hammarth, PhD, is assistant vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). She has served as an administrator and researcher examining the areas of leadership development, college student development, learning assessment, and person-organization fit between organizational and individual values for over 20 years. She was part of the original ensemble of researchers who developed A Social Change Model of Leadership Development (Alexander W. Astin and Helen Astin, PIs), to develop critical leadership skills through evidence-informed practices. She manages central accountability programs to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus, including strategic action planning for inclusive excellence and UCI STEMM Equity Achievement (SEA) Change—an initiative aligned to the American Association for the Advancement of Science SEA Change Program to broaden inclusion in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. Sheryl Burgstahler, PhD, is the director of Accessible Technology and Affiliate Professor of Education at the University of Washington. Her work promotes the success of people with disabilities in academics and careers, using technology as an empowering tool. Many of her articles and presentations focus on how the practice of universal design in a xiii


Notes on Contributors

higher education can help an institution meet its legal obligations and guide its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. David A. Caicedo, PhD, is an associate professor and co-coordinator of the Psychology program at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) within The City University of New York (CUNY). As a researcher, his work examines the language and discourse on immigration, political ideology, and the interaction between community, policy, and attitudes. As a faculty member, his work centers on teaching and mentoring future scholars and scientists through courses in research methods, social psychology, and personality psychology, as well as through several state and federally funded research programs offered at BMCC. Kelly Capatosto, MPA, is a student at the Harvard University School of Law and a former senior data and policy specialist at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University (OSU). Her research interests have crossed a variety of sectors and disciplines. She has applied research on implicit bias to inform equitable policy and decision-making practices in the areas of education, criminal justice, and organizational dynamics. She led the launch of Kirwan’s online Implicit Bias module series, which is a publicly available training tailored to K-12 educators, child welfare professionals, and employees of OSU’s Wexner Medical Center. Most recently, her research focuses on the equitable and just use of big data and technology. Marcela  G.  Cuellar, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis. Her research examines higher education access and equity with a focus on Latinx/a/o student experiences and outcomes at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), campus climate, and community college baccalaureates. Her scholarship has been published in the American Journal of Education, Community College Review, Review of Higher Education, and Teachers College Record. Antonio  Duran, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at Florida International University. His research interests involve understanding how historical and c­ ontemporary legacies of oppression influence college student development, experi-

  Notes on Contributors 


ences, and success. In particular, he is passionate about centering the stories of queer and trans people of color. Leanna Fenneberg, PhD, has over 20 years of experience in higher education and student affairs and is serving as the vice president for student affairs at Rider University in New Jersey. She is responsible for promoting student learning and student success among a diverse community of students and provides leadership for the development and implementation of the campus-wide strategic Inclusive Excellence Plan and establishment of a physical Center for Diversity and Inclusion for students. Under her leadership, Rider University was recognized by Campus Pride as an LGBTQ-friendly campus and by the Center for First-­generation Success as a First-Gen Forward institution. Fenneberg formerly spent nearly two decades in Jesuit, Catholic higher education, developing a foundational grounding in promoting social justice and engaging reflection in action. Her primary leadership contributions and areas of research and professional focus include diversity, equity and inclusion, academic and student affairs partnerships, womxn’s issues, assessment of student learning, and first-year experience and student success and retention. In addition to serving as a faculty in student affairs masters and doctoral programs, she has served in NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education as both the co-chair for the Womxn in Student Affairs (WISA) Knowledge Community and the co-chair of the Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs (SAPAA) Knowledge Community, and is serving on the NASPA Board of Directors as the director of knowledge communities. Carlos A. Galan, MEd, a first-generation college student of Salvadoran descent, is a PhD student in Higher Education Administration and Policy at the University of California, Riverside. As a former college access practitioner, he is passionate about expanding college access and retention for racially minoritized students in higher education. To this end, his research efforts are focused on issues of equity and access for racially minoritized students and faculty in higher education, Central Americans and Latinos students, and higher education governance. Rose Ann Gutierrez  is a graduate student researcher in the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education at the University of


Notes on Contributors

California, Los Angeles, and a PhD student in the Social Science and Comparative Education Division, specializing in race and ethnic studies at the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences. Her research explores the analytical nexus between racialization, immigration, and social stratification. She has worked in K-12 public education as a middle school teacher in Miami, Florida, and as a student affairs practitioner in Seattle, Washington. She has engaged in the local community with her involvement in Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc., and Southern California Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Educators. Douglas Haynes, PhD, is vice chancellor of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also Professor of History. A national thought leader, Haynes provides executive leadership in the advancement of inclusive excellence as an institutional imperative. Under his direction, the Office of Inclusive Excellence provides data-­ driven accountability, mounts education and training, engages in responsive research, and builds strategic partnerships. The campus secured federal designations as an Asian American Native American and Pacific Islander Serving Institution (2016) as well as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (2017). In 2020 Vice Chancellor launched the UCI Black Thriving Initiative in response to the racial reckoning in the summer. This initiative seeks to transform UCI into the nation’s foremost destination for Black people to thrive. UCI also received the STEMM Equity Achievement (SEA Change) Institutional Bronze Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A scholar of the history of medicine, science, and technology, Haynes is the author of Fit to Practice (2017) and Imperial Medicine (2001). Lynell S. Hodge, EdD, serves as the assistant director of occupancy management for Housing and Residence Life and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Hodge’s expertise includes vicarious/secondary trauma, student leadership and ­development, homelessness, food insecurity, barriers to first-generation students, and women’s equality. Annie  Le  is a graduate student researcher in the Social Science and Comparative Education Division at the University of California, Los

  Notes on Contributors 


Angeles, Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences. Her research focuses on historically underrepresented students as well as racial and social inequities within an educational context. She studies these issues in correctional facilities, high schools, higher education, and urban communities. Mitchell A. Levy, PhD, is President/CEO of SOAR Consulting, LLC. In addition to being a full professor, he has served successfully for over 35 years in leadership roles that range from vice president in the various areas of academic affairs and enrollment management, among others, and as a clinical supervisor for the nationally recognized CUNY ASAP program. As a faculty member, he has presented over 135 graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology, mental health, and school counseling. His professional service includes contributing as accreditation reviewer and consultant for the Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE), serving on the Behavioral Mental Health Consultation Team for the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM), as well as advisory councils for the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA), and the New York City Higher Education Task Force on Student Wellness and AntiBullying. He is editor of the NASPA publication, Synergy, and an Editorial Review Board member of the Journal of Behavioral Intervention Teams (J-BIT). He has received the 2011 and 2016 NASPA Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs Promising Practices Awards, a 2015 NASPA Region II Community College Professional of the Year Award, and a 2015 Leah Meyer Austin Award for the Achieving the Dream portfolio he co-chaired. Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn  (Kiowa/Apache/Nez Perce/Umatilla/ Assiniboine), PhD, is associate professor and director of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at the University of Washington Tacoma. She is a citizen of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma and a descendant of the Umatilla/Nez Perce/Apache and Assiniboine Nations. She is an associate professor at the University of Washington Tacoma. She also serves as the director of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program and director of Indigenous Education Initiatives for the School of Education. Her research interests include Indigenous leadership, Indigenous-based


Notes on Contributors

doctoral experiences, the impact of Native American sororities, and Indigenous motherhood in the academy. She recently served as chair of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (IPA) Special Interest Group (SIG), a part of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), is a board member for the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC), Inc., and is former Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community (IPKC) chair for NASPA and former National Indian Education Association (NIEA) board member. She is the co-editor of the Indigenous Leadership in Higher Education book, Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education and Indigenous Motherhood in the Academy (forthcoming). Bernard A. Polnariev, PhD, is the associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Scotch Plains campus at Union County College, overseeing all curricula and core centers in the Learning Resources academic division, the libraries, distance education, and other areas, including an honors program that has helped graduates transfer to universities such as Columbia, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Princeton, and UCLA.  Polnariev serves on the Union’s COVID-19 Taskforce to help devise equitable policies and plans to support hundreds of faculty and thousands of students during the pandemic. He has led college-­wide planning, including a team that crafted the 2019–2024 Academic Master Plan, and has spearheaded Union’s first formal faculty advisement model and developed relationships with high schools, universities, and employers to help further advance Union’s mission of Transforming Our Community…One Student at a Time. As a consultant to support institutions and college leaders, he also serves as the vice president for academic excellence, student success, and equity for SOAR, or Strategic Organizational Achievement Resources. Polnariev held former leadership roles in LaGuardia Community College (part of The City University of New York system), being nationally recognized there for its student success program, the Accelerated Studies in Associate Programs (ASAP) for four years. Polnariev’s research focuses on equity, student success, and learning outcomes assessment, and his professional service includes peer evaluation for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). His professional honors include receiving the Distinguished College Administrator Award from the national PTK Honors Society, the

  Notes on Contributors 


Community College Professional of the Year Award from NASPA Region II, and the Promising Practices Award from the NASPA Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs (SAPAA) Knowledge Community, among others. Kaity  Prieto, PhD, is a University Innovation Alliance Fellow at The Ohio State University where she conducts interdisciplinary student success research. She has written and presented on the experiences of LGBTQ+ students, with a focus on bisexual, pansexual, and fluid student communities. Her research explores bisexual+ undergraduate and graduate student identity negotiation. Raquel M. Rall, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Her research focuses on equity, race, and higher education leadership and governance. Rall examines how decision making and decision makers influence campus policy and practice, particularly for historically marginalized groups. Before joining UCR, she was a UC Chancellor’s postdoctoral fellow, researching the strategic apex and ideologies of access, diversity, and inclusion in California higher education. Cristobal Salinas Jr., PhD, is an associate professor in the Educational Leadership and Research Methodology Department at Florida Atlantic University. His research promotes access and equality in higher education and explores the social and political context of education opportunities for historically marginalized communities. Salinas is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity. He has published over 22 published peer-reviewed articles, has co-edited 5 books and over 27 book chapters, and has received over 25 international and national awards for his commitment to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusions. His research has been featured in CNN, NPR, Telemundo, and Good Morning America. Emmanuela P. Stanislaus, PhD, serves as the associate director of career and talent development at the Florida International University College of Engineering & Computing. Stanislaus research expertise includes diversity, inclusion and equity, first-generation students, and campus climate.


Notes on Contributors

Robert T. Teranishi, PhD, is Professor of Social Science and Comparative Education, the Morgan and Helen Chu Endowed Chair in Asian American Studies, and co-director of the Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research is broadly focused on race, ethnicity, and the stratification of college opportunity. His work has been influential to federal, state, and institution policy related to college access and affordability. He was appointed by President Obama as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Board of Education Services. Prior to his appointment, he served as a professor at New  York University and the University of Pennsylvania. Amanda Wilkerson, EdD, is Assistant Professor of Urban Education at the University of Central Florida in the College of Community Innovation and Education. Wilkerson has written educational materials and coordinated forums on significant social, educational, and community matters.

List of Figures

Fig. 8.1 Political ideology × college Fig. 11.1 Inclusive Campus Model underpinned by the UDHE Framework. (Source: Burgstahler 2020, p. 187) Fig. 14.1 Inclusive excellence versus meritocracy

161 247 306


List of Tables

Table 1.1 Undergraduate and graduate students in US higher education by selected characteristics 3 Table 2.1 Rider University’s Inclusive Excellence Plan26 Table 2.2 Saint Louis University’s The Clock Tower Accords32 Table 4.1 Sample of commonly used national longitudinal college student surveys 69 Table 5.1 Campus website results 90 Table 8.1 Fall 2014 student demographic data 156 Table 8.2 Demographic characteristics of sample 158 Table 8.3 Summary of hierarchical regression analysis predicting attitudes toward immigrants 160


1 Examining Diversity, Change, and Urbanization in Higher Education Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth

Contextualizing Diversity in Higher Education Over half of the world’s population currently calls an urban neighborhood home, and this representation is expected to increase to 68% by 2050 (United Nations, 2018). Regardless of location—whether individuals live in Northern America, where urbanization remains the highest at 82%, or in Africa, with the lowest amount of urbanization at 43%— individuals have common needs for safe and sustainable food and housing, education, health care, and careers (p. 2). This volume about Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education examines the changing influences and impacts of diversity in American higher education communities. The work presented considers urbanization—issues relevant to higher education as postsecondary communities become more urban— among other environmental and broader issues facing postsecondary

M. Bonous-Hammarth (*) University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



M. Bonous-Hammarth

institutions as a whole, particularly those situated as minority serving yet in suburban locations. Most directly, this volume presents a cross-section of interrelated evidence to enhance a more nuanced definition of diversity, identify practical approaches to equity and inclusion, and set research and practice agendas for systemic change. The social catalyst from our current diversity in postsecondary institutions suggests a duality of worst and best times. There is marginalization, discrimination, and violent extremes prompted by differences from the mix of identities and backgrounds of higher education participants. There also appears to be opportunities to discard past labeling and cultural deficit models when including individuals who historically were not majority participants in these upper echelons of postsecondary education. Educators and community members alike are conscious about the need to examine any variance in entrance and achievement by gender, racial, ethnic, and other identity groups in college, while recognizing the interconnectedness of individual success and wellness and organizational innovation and productivity. This volume examines the perspectives of multiple stakeholders to assess the current status of valuing diversity. The authors of each chapter chronicle new dimensions of interpersonal and intergroup relations that enlighten and empower individuals within and external to higher education. This volume on Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education aims to bring current evidence into practice for necessary systemic changes. Concerns continue to emerge about the dwindling representation of diverse members across institutions of higher education (IHEs)—with total enrollment decreasing in higher education each successive year (National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 2021a), while group members identifying as Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) remain persistently underrepresented. Enrollment trends show that women compared to men have comprised a larger percent of the undergraduate enrollment at 57% as well as the graduate students at 60%; and growth in the racial/ethnic diversity at IHEs was primarily driven by growth among Hispanics at the undergraduate level and Asians and Hispanics at the graduate level (Table 1.1). However, the table also shows that the largest declines in representation occurred among African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Pacific

2,677,100 2,551,000 1,087,300 1,029,800 57,500 10,895,900 293,700 398,400 2,937,000 1,727,500 1,209,500 17,100 361,900 197,800 194,300 187,800 6,500 1,824,900 31,700 309,300

1,548,900 1,351,000 845,500 – – 8,983,500

2,156,900 1,213,400 943,500 12,600

181,400 110,800 132,700 – – 1,478,600



18,082,400 10,246,100 7,836,300 179,100

13,155,400 7,377,100 5,778,300 138,500


365,400 220,800 220,800 215,000 5,800 1,636,800 81,300 435,400

3,035,700 1,819,000 1,216,700 13,600

2,127,900 3,352,700 1,131,800 1,067,500 44,700 8,664,500 646,500 566,600

16,610,200 9,384,200 7,226,000 120,200


14.8% 14.1% 6.0% 5.7% 0.3% 60.3% 1.6% 2.2%

−20.5% 31.4% 4.1% 3.7% −22.3% −3.6% 120.1% 42.2%

1.0% 11.6% 13.6% 14.5% −10.8% 10.7% 156.5% 40.8%

12.3% 6.7% 6.6% 6.4% 0.2% 62.1% 1.1% 10.5%

100.0% 58.8% 41.2% 0.6%

100.0% 56.7% 43.3% 1.0%

−8.1% −8.4% −7.8% −32.9%

3.4% 5.3% 0.6% −20.5%

% of total 2010

% change 2010–2018

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, US Department of Education (2019) Note: Enrollment includes full-time and part-time

Total undergraduates  Women  Men  American Indian/Alaska Native  Black  Hispanic  Asian/Pacific Islander  Asian  Pacific Islander  White  Two of more races  Nonresident alien  (no racial/ethnic data) Total Postbaccalaureate  Women  Men  American Indian/Alaska Native  Black  Hispanic  Asian/Pacific Islander  Asian  Pacific Islander  White  Two of more races  Nonresident alien  (no racial/ethnic data)


Table 1.1  Undergraduate and graduate students in US higher education by selected characteristics

12.0% 7.3% 7.3% 7.1% 0.2% 53.9% 2.7% 14.3%

100.0% 59.9% 40.1% 0.4%

12.8% 20.2% 6.8% 6.4% 0.3% 52.2% 3.9% 3.4%

100.0% 56.5% 43.5% 0.7%

% of total 2018

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M. Bonous-Hammarth

Islanders—groups that have historically been underrepresented in higher education. This table does not show other evidenced underrepresentation in higher education, including women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM), nor the paucity of women, Blacks, Hispanics, and Indigenous people represented at faculty levels of the academy. The underrepresentation of specific groups in STEMM is an area discussed in this volume as well as more extensively in the literature since the issue reflects the winnowing of diversity by gender and by race/ethnicity as one progresses across the educational pipeline (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2020). While the paths for students to college and matriculation are important sides of any story about higher education, they are incomplete perspectives since the immediate college environment and the experiences contributing to learning among students have the greatest weight on student success and other outcomes (Astin, 1993; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Mayhew et  al., 2016). These experiences too often are uneven across gender and race/ethnicity, raising questions about the accountability of IHEs to ensure the necessary supports for all constituents to thrive in their studies. In this respect, inclusive higher education should be a goal to represent and facilitate success of diverse populations in higher education—structural diversity—while engaging all  IHE members in ways that fully reflect, and value how constituents and their contributions will shape the institution going forward—inclusive learning. In terms of student success operationalized as persistence and degree completion, data show that more students who start at four-year institutions at 65% complete baccalaureates than transfers or part-time enrollees (National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 2021b). A brick-and-mortar college experience is typically situated in suburban or urban communities, and these experiences and outcomes absorb the local issues. Higher education experiences are shaped by the institutional legacies of inclusion or exclusion of marginalized or underserved members, the current structural representations of diversity and the psychological climates perceived by organizational members, as well as the behavioral climate dimensions related to intergroup relations (Hurtado et al., 1998). These components provide key levers for change in equity and inclusion practices, and they currently suggest unevenness in the climates perceived

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by gender and by race and gender to influence students and others in higher education. This volume aimed to examine not only structural diversity but aspects of cultural climate and quality of higher education experiences for diverse members. This project started with aims to bring new research and promising practices into discussion about the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at IHEs. However, the publicly recognized onset of a pandemic in the US—and the world—by March 2020 changed understanding about “current state” to be continually in flux rather than at some measurable statis. Just 12 months after these first US COVID-19 cases, there were formal accountings reporting 28,399,281 cases and 504,488 deaths attributed to the virus in the US (The COVID Tracking Project, 2021). The trauma that echoed from global partners also joined what was a reality in the US, and the chapter authors served as firstaccount witnesses to broaden this volume’s focus by also interrogating approaches to this unique yet disruptive COVID event. The chapter authors aimed to identify resiliency and lessons learned from the pandemic to sustain educational goals while literally protecting health and welfare of students, families, and others. Amid disrupted food supplies, work, and shelter-in-­place orders that limited much of the social interactions that traditionally earmark college experiences, students at American IHEs also encountered emergency health situations and their impacts never experienced in their lifetimes, most often away from the security nets of college and university campuses. College students reported higher incidences of depression (at 41%) and mental health-impaired academics (at 31%) compared to pre-COVID times while over a third experienced drastic shifts in living and learning situations, and over 60% reported difficulties to even access needed mental health care due to the pandemic (Healthy Minds Network, 2020, p. 9). These circumstances raised key questions that this volume on Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education aims to address with careful review of the past and relevant theories as well as consciousness raising about current practices. This volume’s framework is informed by the understanding that 68% of postsecondary institutions in the US were located in urban or metropolitan areas that served “to anchor,” stabilize, and build community capacities through the education, services, and


M. Bonous-Hammarth

employment offered from the IHEs (Friedman et al., 2014). Therefore, IHEs were inextricably linked to their communities and were accountable to address the needs of students who enrolled and those who resided around their borders. The non-enrolled beneficiaries were positively impacted by talent pools, industry growth, and economic improvements facilitated by higher education, similar to the direct benefits to IHE graduates (UNESCO, 2017). Urban communities and their populations tended to benefit from more college graduates, larger professional talent pools, and higher median incomes, compared to rural locales that reflected higher rates of single-home ownership and less loan debt (American Population Survey, 2016). However, with the onset of the novel coronavirus predominantly in urban communities, the positive gains were not always clear since density proved to be a major risk factor for transmission and fatalities at first but spread and severity of the virus soon was matched in rural communities (Centers for Disease Control, 2020). Identifying a new approach to viewing density, Beamer (2019) developed a school concentration index, or SCI, to reflect the proximity of postsecondary options for students, with low SCI translating to multiple higher education options within close driving distances for students and high SCI translating to one IHE accounting for the local zip code’s enrollments, or extreme concentration. This view of opportunity highlights disadvantages for students residing in and attending rural colleges and universities, and even those in urban and urban-emerging areas where the majority of postsecondary choices are for-profit institutions, where tuition is higher, outcomes such as degree completion are lower, and the populations most disadvantaged are disproportionately those historically underrepresented by race and class (Beamer, 2019). Regardless how a system of higher education in these various locations developed, there were disparate impacts that limited the full potential of outcomes for constituents. The chapters in this volume are informed by the overarching influences of urban communities in higher education. Even if the institutions themselves are not located in metropolitan city areas, their campuses host students from these areas and connect with community issues germane to urban or urban-emerging environments. The conversations about diversity occur as part of this broad overlay and are highlighted further in the

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chapters at specific points where the evidence may diverge from more general discussions and literature presented. While urbanization remains an intentional connection with discussions about diversity in higher education, its prevailing nature may be discussed and better understood through broader emphases and topics found in these chapters. As this volume examines several key aspects of diversity in higher education today, the authors identify perspectives that amalgamate into a holistic view of one higher education system—although there are admittedly many moving parts. The conversations drawn from the literature and practices also considered the unique circumstances shaped by the current pandemic, both as a rearview assessment of what was learned and as a forward movement for creating hardier and more responsive systems for learning, educating, and exchanging knowledge.

 hy Is a New Focus on Diversity Needed W in Higher Education? There has been rich scholarship to-date that speaks about the concept of difference in society (Allport, 1979), and specifically in the academy and its outcomes (Allen et al., 2006; Gurin et al., 2002; Gurin et al., 2004). These and other insights highlight an unfortunate truth that bias and discrimination live with us and not only curtail the individual success that one may achieve but also diminish the effectiveness of our social institutions, the fabric of our community connections, and the promise of our democratic systems. Just as Dovidio and Gaertner (2004) acknowledged that “dominative” racism is shown visibly in destructive ways when individuals acted out their bigoted beliefs, it was also telling that “aversive racism” had effects of equal, if not more harmful significance to our experiences (p. 3). A key understanding about how to improve equity in intergroup relations hinges on recognizing the interplay between perspectives that are shared among ingroup members—those alike in characteristics—and outgroup members—those different from the ingroup individuals. Observed “negative emotional reactions” that often characterize the


M. Bonous-Hammarth

individual attitudes we hold toward outgroup members create the power dynamic influencing our tendencies for social dominance (Bratt et  al., 2016). However, swinging a pendulum too far to solely focus on common identity as a panacea given the subtlety of “contemporary bias” would often dismiss the unfair advantages tilted toward dominant narratives when colorblind, common identity solutions are proposed and leave root causes for intergroup conflicts and non-dominant issues unaddressed (Dovidio et al., 2016, p. 23). While dominant power that creates inequities must be disrupted in order to construct alliances from shared values, the process also must include intentional examination of the root causes and authentic motivations to nurture more inclusive outcomes, rather than maintaining status quo. Higher education has always been influenced by the broader community circumstances and milieu in which it operates, specifically on diversity issues. The diverse communities where IHEs emerged provided an impetus for land-grant legislation that developed educational offerings aligned to broader community needs. For example, GI Bill expansions largely absorbed returning veterans who sought new and transformative delivery systems of postsecondary education; and Civil Rights presses and legislation opened fairer access to education. The current national consciousness about fairer health care and technology access, more conscientious policing and economic inclusion, as well as specific redress for historically excluded voices, all outline an agenda for higher education to train current and future leaders building allyship, cultural awareness, and social justice in and beyond the institution. Quite simply, higher education can no longer ignore the unevenness of participation in the learning pathways it engenders, nor can the system continue to provide only traditional, slow-growing paths for those historically underrepresented to enter and succeed in and beyond its spaces. As the chapters of this volume suggest, to be truly inclusive requires cultural change that values as well as ensures broad access to diversity. This volume focuses on broadening structural diversity, valuing diversity, and creating inclusive learning communities to provide opportunities for IHEs to be more productive since diversity becomes a malleable factor for ushering in planned changes. Interactions with diverse others lead to better strategies and innovations when compared to the outcomes

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by homogeneous group members (Díaz-García et al., 2014; Levine et al., 2014; Page, 2017; Phillips et al., 2008). For higher education, engaging effectively with its diverse members and constantly building a larger inclusion table for all to gather around require first steps to acknowledge where there has been stasis and what fosters momentum for improvements.

 urrent Approaches to Systemic Changes C for Diversity and Inclusion It is particularly helpful to examine how general work in the area of systemic change and the specific interventions tried in higher education can increase equity, outcomes, and inclusive learning. These understandings pave discovery paths for additional ripple effects—ways to apply lessons learned to benefit members beyond the initial target groups of interest. While there is no exact prescription for effectively changing organizations in fundamental ways, there are insights specifically from Kezar (2014) and from Hurtado and Guillermo-Wann (2013) that suggest the components to address systemic change. Specifically, Kezar (2014) used a “multi-faceted framework” of change theories to recognize the many moving parts associated with organizational change, with change at the macro level resulting from considerations about the type of change desired, the context in which changes occurred, the levels of agency or leadership that foster change processes, and how consideration of these components in sum created optimal conditions for change (p. 44). This view of the change process from multiple perspectives enables greater precision and choice when viewing the multiple complexities of real-world conditions in the academy. While climate may still be the nebulous environmental pulse to measure, it reveals keen insights about how perceived belonging and welcoming climates contribute to college completion, faculty promotion, staff success, and other drivers of organizational health. Intensive study and measures of the campus climate showed gaps in such areas of perceived academic validation and sense of belonging among students of color compared to their peers and showed the positive connections across


M. Bonous-Hammarth

completing ethnic studies and women’s studies courses, engaging in co-­ curricular activities focused on diversity, and completing high-impact practices such as studying abroad to gains in civic and multicultural competence and habits of mind—the mindsets for lifelong learning (Hurtado & Guillermo-Wann, 2013). Additional empirical analyses suggest that diversity serves as a connective bridge across informal interactions for progressive learning outcomes among a variety of student groups (Gurin et al., 2002). Students in the most structurally diverse environments tended to reflect the highest “pluralistic orientations” or interests in participating in a democratic society (Hurtado & Ruiz, 2012). In this sense, the connections between diversity and learning outcomes are particularly advantageous and beneficial beyond the scope of an immediate classroom. Learners pay forward positive intergroup relations and these interactions continue to help learners and their organizations to integrate learning (Astin, 1993; Mayhew et al., 2016). The social connections among students drive their validation of academic success and sense of belonging to further retention and degree completion (Tinto, 2017). The significant influence of having initial openness to diversity is further enhanced during the college experience through interactions with peers, interactions with faculty, and participation in academic programs and experiences focused on diversity (Whitt et al., 2001). It is at this critical intersection of social and academic life that college may be an effective influencer to increase learning about diverse others and to support individual and institutional productivity through valuing diversity. At both macro and micro levels, diversity and efforts to broaden equity and inclusion become levers for positive organizational change. There are immediate benefits to students—both in immediate content knowledge and in openness to interacting with diverse others. There also are pivotal ways where broader cultural exposure becomes part of the organizational climates to create more conducive learning spaces and more productive, effective organizations. With higher education representing a microcosm of the complexities of urbanization and diversity changes, these examinations are needed and profound to give us practical tools for interventions and overall success in college.

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 hapters on Bridging Marginality C in Higher Education Chapters in this volume aimed to renew conversations about the complexities of work focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and informed by evidence and nuanced perspectives needed for the expanding intersectionalities, new modes of connections, and broadening community for our campuses. The successive chapters highlight selected topics and evidence-informed practices from different positional lenses of higher education, and they draw us into the tale of higher education with current and future aims of creating more inclusive and responsive learning environments. In Chap. 2, Leanna Fenneberg examines history in ways to highlight organizational missions and key stakeholders who shape change with students: faculty and staff. This focus on the necessary and forged partnerships between academic affairs and student affairs activities further informs understanding about the interconnectedness and student-­ centeredness needed to address university-wide planning in urban and suburban locations. In Chap. 3, Robert T. Teranishi, Rose Ann Gutierrez, and Annie Le highlight anti-Asian racism in the COVID era. Their historical review extends and updates the literature by renewing focus on the xenophobia that was directed at individuals of Asian and Pacific Islander descent during the 2020 pandemic. Their perspectives are particularly germane to underscore the need to examine the intersections of student identity development and implicit bias for established and emerging majority cultural groups. This chapter helps to direct practitioners and researchers alike to resources and practical approaches that address the multiple and intersecting identities of majority-minority cultural groups and their systemic changes to improve their thriving and inclusion and engagement in higher education. Marcela G. Cuellar and Cristobal Salinas Jr. raise issues concerning social identities and Latino/Latinx student identities in Chap. 4. Their analyses draw attention to the classification issues involved in researching and reporting about student characteristics in general and specifically


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associated with individuals identifying as Latino/a. This topic helps researchers and practitioners design strategies to make their technical and cultural considerations explicit and provides relevant discussion to another side of the majority-minority conversation. Chapter 5 presents new strategies for providing effective technology and online connectivity for a group emerging as a majority group on many urban, rural, and suburban campuses. Lynell S.  Hodge, Emmanuela P.  Stanislaus, and Amanda Wilkerson use a qualitative approach to highlight care perspectives and resources for first-generation students from their original research, examining how postsecondary institutions may develop care and support opportunities for first generation through virtual information and service resources. Using an equality framework to evaluate institutional websites, they discuss key factors that may extend educational justice through programming and interventions. Antonio Duran and Kaity Prieto in Chap. 6 provide insights about key issues and opportunities to enhance experiences for individuals identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or other sexual and gender identities in higher education. Their research examining these experiences bring critical context to the spaces and places that support LGBTQ+ students and how institutions may update practices to best inform and engage students in their local contexts. Raquel M. Rall and Carlos A. Galan review a history of activism in Chap. 7. The authors use a case approach to enhance understanding about student leadership engagement that predominantly engages students of color and provides opportunities for raising issues from beyond the campus to address such topics as food insecurity, immigration and undocumented student status, and bias and anti-Semitism. David A.  Caicedo explores the intersectionality of undocumented students at community colleges in Chap. 8. His original research directly examines urban-suburban dichotomies and their different influences on undocumented students. His insights allow us to take stock about how student sense of belonging may be nurtured and tied to viewing students and their successes from multiple identity facets. Chapter 9 by Kelly Capatosto interrogates persistent inequalities for women academics. Her examination through the lenses of implicit bias

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and organizational hierarchy lays bare the opportunities for institutional accountability and intersectional strategies to improve individual promotion as well as institutional changes for gender equity and inclusive climates. Bernard A. Polnariev and Mitchell A. Levy examine the key needs of community college students and their institutions in Chap. 10. Their systems view of organizational challenges and suggested strategies to resolve reveal unique approaches that can attain the immediate student goals and longer-term organizational priorities for retention, degree completion, and institutional responsiveness to financing education and aligning academic aspirations to solid career development plans. Sheryl Burgstahler reviews opportunities to promote inclusion for individuals with disabilities in Chap. 11. Her examination of policies and practices is as timely as it is helpful since her approaches offer innovative approaches for redesigning systems for greater inclusion. Drawing on a foundation of Universal Design, she outlines progressive approaches for ensuring that learning opportunities are inclusive for individuals with disabilities and moves higher education beyond ADA compliance by prioritizing social inclusion. Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn in Chap. 12 models the teaching and wisdom of her Indigenous heritage to identify opportunities for indigenizing narratives and honoring place in academia. Through her first-­ person accounts and case examples, we gain insights about key issues and approaches for entering and creating learning spaces to support Indigenous students and academic members. Her review of these key themes and issues for students in urban spaces brings creative strategies to bear on technology, communications, and student engagement. Chapter 13 by Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth discusses the unique experiences of African Americans in higher education. The literature on striving provides a springboard to inquiry about the dual nature of the concept for this group of students who are historically underrepresented in the academy. Drawing on evidence from organizational studies, college student development and diversity, equity, and inclusion work, key levers for systemic change are proposed, with implications for practice and research discussed against the backdrop of understanding the student experiences and the geographic contexts that shape success.


M. Bonous-Hammarth

Douglas Haynes addresses overarching themes about the accountability of Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) in Chap. 14. His case example chronicles the history associated with a research university’s development into a MSI while identifying a next chapter for success beyond serving by focusing on thriving. He draws upon interventions and their insights to situate a new initiative for student success. A final chapter (Chap. 15) by Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth brings the lessons learned full circle into discussions about new and more nuanced applications across higher education. The evidence presented by chapter authors is summarized and a future agenda is developed to examine intersectionality and create more visible accountability for engaging effectively with issues related to difference, identity, and outcomes in the system of higher education.

Themes of Inquiry While any examination of higher education may focus on multiple contexts at once—the learners, the environments, the outcomes, and potential impacts—this volume used each chapter to exemplify several interconnected themes involved in system change for more inclusive and supportive learning environments. These themes highlighted considerations of context and paradigm shifts, intersectionality, connectivity, and impactful interventions. Context and Paradigm Shifts  The authors in this volume at once positioned their arguments on historical evidence and current contexts while challenging readers to conceive of new perspectives and dimensions to foster intergroup success and productive inter- and intra-group relations. These multiple frames were necessary in order to support more holistic views of a postsecondary system, its capacities, and its promises. Intersectionality  There were times when the aims and reporting mechanisms in higher education obscured important knowledge about the intersections of identities, particularly when our institutional memberships overlapped in new ways not previously acknowledged or measured.

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In the spaces possible, these issues of intersectionality were examined as a means to highlight conditions that required greater understanding about within-group diversity. Connectivity  The unexpected conditions of COVID-19 provided painful awareness about limitations, including options for connectivity, both technical and literal. Our authors explored these circumstances to underscore the lessons as well as the promise of greater integration and interventions for cultivating community among diverse members of higher education. Impactful Interventions  Involvement in diverse experiences within a campus environment proved to set individuals on productive paths for success while developing organizations for greater community engagement and partnerships. Bowman et al. (2011) identified empirically that there were significant and positive direct effects related to personal growth, life purpose, recognizing racism, and engaging in volunteer work that stemmed from campus diversity experienced nearly 13 years prior (p.  735), and continued examinations of DEI interventions suggest promising outcomes for the higher education system writ large.

References Allen, W. R., Bonous-Hammarth, M., & Teranishi, R. (Eds.). (2006). Higher education in a global society: Achieving diversity, equity, and excellence. Elsevier Academic Press. Allport, G. (1979). The nature of prejudice. Addison-Wesley. American Population Survey. (2016). Measuring America: Our changing landscape. US Census. comm/acs-­rural-­urban.html Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college. Jossey-Bass. Beamer, L. (2019). Unequal and uneven: The geography of higher education access. Phenomenal World website. Bowman, N. A., Brandenberger, J. W., Hill, P. L., & Lapsley, D. K. (2011). The long-term effects of college diversity experiences: Well-being and social con-


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cerns 13 years after graduation. Journal of College Student Development, 52(6), 729–739. Bratt, C., Sidanius, J., & Sheey-Skeffington, J. (2016). Shaping the development of prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42(12), 1617–1634. Centers for Disease Control. (2020). COVID-19 incidence, by urban-rural classification: United States, January 22-October 31, 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(46), 1753.­H.pdf Díaz-García, C., González-Moreno, A., & Sáez-Martínez, F. J. (2014). Gender diversity within R&D teams: Its impact on radicalness of innovation. Organization & Management, 15(2), 149–160. impp.2013.15.2.149 Dovidio, J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (2004). Aversive racism. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 36, pp.  1–52). Elsevier Academic Press. Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Ufkes, E. G., Saguy, T., & Pearson, A. R. (2016). Included but invisible? Subtle bias, common identity, and darker side of “we”. Social Issues and Policy Review, 10(1), 6–46. sipr.12017 Friedman, D., Perry, D., & Menendez, C. (2014). The foundational role of universities as anchor institutions in urban development: A report of national data and survey findings. Association of Public Land Grant Universities. https:// Gurin, P., Dey, E. L., Hurtado, S., & Gurin, G. (2002). Diversity and higher education: Theory and impact on educational outcomes. Harvard Educational Review, 72(3), 330–366. Gurin, P., Lehman, J. S., Lewis, E., Dey, E. L., Gurin, G., & Hurtado, S. (2004). Defending diversity: Affirmative action at the University Michigan. University of Michigan Press. Healthy Minds Network. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on college student well-being. Retrieved from:­content/ u p l o a d s / 2 0 2 0 / 0 7 / He a l t h y _ M i n d s _ N C H A _ C OV I D _ Su r v e y _ Report_FINAL.pdf Hurtado, S., & Guillermo-Wann, C. (2013). Diverse learning environments: Assessing and creating conditions for student success – Final report to the Ford Foundation. University of California, Los Angeles, Higher Education Research Institute.

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Hurtado, S., & Ruiz, A. (2012). The climate for underrepresented groups and diversity on campus. HERI Research Brief online. URMBriefReport.pdf Hurtado, S., Milem, J., Clayton-Pedersen, A., & Allen, W. R. (1998). Enhancing campus climates for racial/ethnic diversity: Educational policy and practice. Research in Higher Education, 21(3), 279–302. Kezar, A. (2014). How colleges change. Understanding, leading, and enacting change. Routledge. Levine, S. S., Apfelbaum, E. P., Bernard, M., Bartelt, V. L., Zajac, E. J., & Stark, D. (2014). Ethnic diversity deflates price bubbles. PNAS, 111(52), 18524–18529. Macrotrends. (2021). U.S.  Urban population, 1960–2021. Website. https://­states/urban-­population Mayhew, M. J., Rockenbach, A. N., Bowman, N. A., Seifert, T. A., & Wolniak, G. C. (2016). How college affects students, Volume 3: Twenty-first century evidence that college works. Jossey-Bass. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2020). Promising practices for addressing the underrepresentation of women in science, engineering, and medicine: Opening doors. Author. National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (2021a). Current term enrollment estimates, fall 2020. Author.­content/ uploads/CTEE_Report_Fall_2020.pdf National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (2021b). Yearly success and progress rates. Author.­content/uploads/ Yearly_Success_Progress_Report_Feb2021.pdf Page, S. E. (2017). The diversity bonus: How great teams pay off in the knowledge economy. Princeton University Press. Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research. Jossey-Bass. ISBN-10: 0787910449. Phillips, K. W., Liljenquist, K. A., & Neale, M. A. (2008). Is the pain worth the gain? The advantages and liabilities of agreeing with socially distinct newcomers. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(3), 336–350. https:// The COVID Tracking Project. (2021). National data: deaths. Online data. Tinto, V. (2017). Through the eyes of students. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice, 19(3), 254–269. 0.1177/2F1521025115621917


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UNESCO. (2017). Six ways to ensure higher education leaves no one behind (Policy Paper 30). United Nations. (2018). World urbanization prospects: The 2018 revision. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. https://population.­KeyFacts.pdf US Department of Education. (2019). Digest of education statistics, Table 306.10. US Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics. Whitt, E. J., Edison, M. I., Pascarella, E. T., Terenzini, P. T., & Nora, A. (2001). Influences on students’ openness to diversity and challenge in the second and third years of college. Journal of Higher Education, 72(2), 172–204. https://

2 Student Affairs-Academic Affairs Collaborations to Support Diverse Communities Leanna Fenneberg

Institutions of higher education have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to address societal privileges and inequities, demonstrating a responsiveness to shifting student demographics and commitment to the success of students with marginalized identities. Two distinct case studies provide examples of institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and the role of partnerships to advance change and impact—both on college campuses and within the broader community. It is important to first frame the contextual landscape in higher education—for the purposes of this chapter, focused on American higher education. From the earliest days of American colleges, higher education has had a core purpose to educate future societal leaders, providing students (young men at the time) with broad exposure to areas of study that aided in the development of critical analytic skills (Thelin, 2019). This

L. Fenneberg (*) Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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philosophy of promoting the holistic education of future civic leaders became known as the foundation of liberal education, which is still subscribed to across many institutions in our nation today. The Liberal Education & America’s Promise (LEAP) Challenge (2015) asserts that liberal education “prepares students to understand and manage complexity, diversity, and change” (p. 2). While these underlying principles hold true in aspirational vision of the products of post-secondary education today, a lot has changed since Harvard opened its doors in 1636. One of the biggest changes is the evolution of who has access to higher education and how institutions have transformed to educate and support the success of a diversifying student body. Throughout the history of American higher education we have experienced a continued diversification of our student body. As educational access opened up for new learners, institutions were often unprepared to respond to their needs. This resulted in the establishment of new institutions to accommodate specific students (e.g., historically Black colleges and universities, women’s colleges, land-grant institutions, and community colleges), facilitating a process of accommodation through separation in lieu of true inclusion and transformation (Pasque et al., 2016). While these institutional types served individual students and their needs during an evolving time of our national understanding of equity and inclusion, we are at a distinctly different point in time in the evolution of American higher education. There is an increasingly compelling need for our institutions of higher learning to examine systems that promulgate privilege to establish truly integrated, equitable, and inclusive spaces that both serve the needs of all students and promote skills that will allow all of our graduates to lead and promote justice in a diverse world. College-going students are more diverse today than ever. This change is a product of both a diversified population of the United States (US) and systemic structures in secondary education and broader society which have supported success measures (such as high school completion rates and college affordability) across students representing a wide array of social identities, creating more access to higher education than ever before. Between 2000 and 2016, the US experienced a greater volume of college-­going individuals, with a distinct increase in young adults who identify as Black from 31% to 36% and Hispanic from 22% to 39%

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(National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2019). National trends and projections indicate that this will continue, resulting in significant increases in college enrollment for racial and ethnic minorities between 2015 and 2026—with 1% increase for White students, 20% increase for Black students, 26% increase for Hispanic students, 12% increase for Asian/Pacific Islander students, 3% decrease for American Indian/Alaskan Native students, and 37% increase for students of two or more races (NCES, 2018). While enrollment of underrepresented students has increased in higher education, the success rates of racial minorities significantly trail those of their White peers (NCES, 2018), underscoring the inability of colleges and universities to fully evolve to meet the needs of this changing population. Due to the abundance of available data and our national history of racial differences, the discussion of the diversification of our student body is often focused on race and ethnicity. Colleges, however, are experiencing an expansion of college-going students with other marginalized or underrepresented identities (including LGBTQ+ identifying students, students with disabilities, low-income students, and undocumented students) and recognizing that many of these identities have an intersectional impact on the experiences of those attending college. Some of these barriers to success for students include feeling pressure to conform to majority culture, covert or overt oppression, financial unaffordability, insufficient academic readiness, limited professional network, lack of family understanding, imposter syndrome, work commitments, and family responsibilities. Informed by the impact of these barriers, Pendakur (2016) advocates that an intersectional, identity-conscious approach to retention and student success is the missing ingredient in the national movement to not simply admit a more diverse group of students into higher education but to support these students so they can thrive and graduate on time. (p. 4)

Tied to research which indicates that underrepresented and underserved students can benefit significantly from engagement in multiple high-impact practices (Finley & McNair, 2013), this intentional and individualized connection of diverse students to powerful practices can


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yield significant results. It is incumbent upon us both from an ethical educational perspective and from a business model of advancing institutional success measures (e.g., recruitment, retention, and graduation rates) that we build institutional structures and support that are attentive to this changing demographic and ensure the success of each student. Further, the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) (2018) has purported in work that defines inclusive excellence that higher education will need to continue to embrace values of diversity, equity, and inclusion to enhance the overall educational quality for all students who will work and serve in an increasingly diverse world. This is also emphasized through the LEAP essential learning outcome theme of personal and social responsibility, which articulates essential areas of civic knowledge and engagement, intercultural knowledge and competence, ethical reasoning and action, and foundations and skills for lifelong learning (AAC&U, 2011). Considering the original intent of higher education to form societal leaders, this educational imperative for a changing student body inherently serves the needs of our broader communities. The physical and cultural settings where our colleges and universities are situated (urban, rural, and everywhere in between) vary as much as our institutional types such as liberal arts, religiously affiliated, comprehensive, research, historically Black colleges and universities, community colleges, and Hispanic-­ serving institutions (Hirt, 2006). The opportunity and responsibility for colleges and universities to serve students and advance ideals of civic leadership requires strategic integration of curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities that advance multicultural competence and leadership skills. This essential transformational learning will not only impact individual students in their holistic growth but also benefit the culture and climate of our campuses and society at large through the output of our graduates. Two case study examples follow, each that demonstrates institutional commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion as foundational values on the campus, and with consideration of the role of the institution in promoting these values in the surrounding community as well. The two institutions were selected based on the author’s leadership experience in student affairs on these campuses. The case studies provide two different

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campus perspectives on the same issue, informed by institutional type, mission, size, student demographic, and community environment, to represent the unique opportunities for colleges and universities in diversity, equity, and inclusion work. These case studies present specific initiatives that were responsive to the environment at a moment in time. This is reflective of work by Pope and LePeau (2012) that recognizes the variety of circumstances which influence an institution and how “context is fluid and can evolve and change over time” (p. 108). Each of these examples relied upon intentional partnership that crosses institutional structures—most specifically between academic affairs (AA) and student affairs (SA)—to advance campus-wide understanding and systemic change. Literature suggests that effective partnerships can lead to considerable student outcomes including enhancing acclimation to campus, student engagement, student learning, and academic and career decisions (Nesheim, et al., 2007). A number of organizational features are identified in partnerships that affect positive change. While the specific sentiments resulting from research vary, commonly recognized elements of effective partnerships include considering institutional mission, values and culture, learning-centeredness, applying creativity to resources and structures, maintaining relationships and networks, and considering the role of leadership at all levels of the organization (Whitt, et al., 2008; Kezar, 2006).

 ase 1: Rider University—a Campus Catching C Up with the Diversity of Its Students Rider University is a private institution located in a suburban environment of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, proximal to the state capital of Trenton. Rider University enrolls approximately 4600 students, approximately 3600 of whom are undergraduate students (NCES, n.d.). Rider’s student demographics have mirrored national trends, and those in the state of New Jersey, with a significant increase in underrepresented populations by race and ethnicity, outpacing the Northeast regional average (Bransberger et  al., 2020). With 78% of incoming Rider University


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freshmen (fall 2019) originating from the state of New Jersey, observing these trends is critical. In fact, 41% of the traditional undergraduate population at Rider University identifies as a student of color and/or Hispanic (52% of the incoming fall 2020 freshman class), with the largest representation of Black/African American and/or Hispanic designations. Other traditional undergraduate student demographics with significant and growing representation on campus include first-generation (28%), low-income (36%), and LGBTQ+ students—although not measured, prevalent (J. Cafiero-Therien, personal communication, September 30, 2019). The institutional mission includes a commitment to preparing graduates who “embrace diversity, support the common good, and contribute meaningfully to the changing world in which they live and work” (Rider University n.d.-b). Therefore, significant elements of the University strategic plan align with these values as well. Driven by a responsiveness to the changing student demographic and our need to best serve this population, and framed by foundational values and commitments, the campus engaged in a process to establish a strategic institutional plan of action to advance Rider University as an inclusive campus community. The process was led by the author, vice president for student affairs, and a full-time, tenured faculty member in the psychology department. The work engaged twenty-one members of the newly established President’s Council on Inclusion. With intentionality, our work was primarily framed by two sources which provided foundational knowledge and shared perspective for committee members. First, we reviewed the context and application of the Multicultural Change Intervention Matrix provided by Pope, Reynolds, and Mueller (2014), considering targets of change at individual, group, and institutional levels, and promoting efforts that would advance second-order change. We additionally reviewed the work of Damon Williams (2013) as guidance for developing and implementing successful strategic diversity plans. The process of defining a strategic plan for inclusion involved establishing common institutional definitions and vision, auditing current campus efforts that have the potential to advance goals to be an inclusive campus, identifying institutional gaps, and proposing goals and actions informed by best practice models and relevant literature. These proposed

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goals, objectives, and actions were then shared across six groups consisting of over 100 additional student, faculty, staff, and alumni stakeholders, soliciting and infusing feedback into the final recommendations. The resulting goals, objectives, and actions span all aspects of campus control and influence and seek to promote systemic and long-lasting change (Table 2.1). Damon Williams (2013) asserts, If the president, provost, deans, vice presidents and other key leaders are not guiding the journey, the implementation is destined to achieve less-­ than-­optimal results. Indeed the active involvement of senior leadership is one of the key tenets that distinguish transformational change from more incremental efforts activated solely through the campus diversity office. (p. 217)

Following this guidance, Rider University’s (n.d.-a) Inclusive Excellence Plan was vetted and endorsed by University leadership including the President’s Cabinet and the deans. The final plan outlined six goals, sixteen objectives, and seventy-two actions to advance the University as an inclusive campus. Divisions were identified to lead each objective in the plan, thereby asserting leadership responsibility and accountability for specific areas within the organizational structure. A year-long series of over thirty launch events brought campus-wide  awareness and prominence to the plan. The full plan is available online at inclusive-­excellence-­plan. Following a commitment to tracking progress to assure accountability and transparency with the campus community, a one-year status update was distributed to the campus community. Due to the interconnectedness of commitments outlined in the plan, a collaborative partnership is required to facilitate success. It became clear that academic affairs and student affairs carry a predominance of this collaborative work. Examples of overlapping areas of responsibility are enhancing multicultural competence for faculty, staff, and students and facilitating efforts that support student success while considering their unique, intersecting identities—areas which require partnership work. Specific actions supporting this interconnected work across divisions included the following:


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Table 2.1  Rider University’s Inclusive Excellence Plan Goal 1: Improve retention and graduation rates of students whose identities are underrepresented and/or marginalized, and/or under-resourced in higher education. Identify, assess, and enhance programs that support social integration and sense of belonging for underrepresented and/ or marginalized students. Identify, assess, and enhance programs that support academic integration and success for all students, with an understanding that they may have an additionally significant impact on underrepresented, marginalized, and/or under-resourced students. Identify, assess, and enhance programs that support financial stability for all students, with an understanding that these may have an additionally significant impact on under-resourced students. Goal 2: Improve diversity of employees to better reflect the diverse identities represented in our student population. Improve the diversity of faculty across all academic departments, considering representation at the individual department level. Encourage academic departments to support and recognize the contributions of faculty who mentor underrepresented students and provide service to underserved communities. Improve the diversity of staff across all units, considering representation at the individual department level. Demonstrate institutional commitment to diversifying the Rider University workforce. Goal 3: Develop and maintain a positive campus climate which embraces the diversity of intersectional identities for all members of our community, while also promoting inclusion specifically for underrepresented and/or marginalized in higher education. Enhance the infusion of Rider’s student learning outcome theme “global and multicultural perspectives” throughout the curriculum. Enhance the infusion of Rider’s student learning outcome theme “global and multicultural perspectives” throughout the co-curriculum. Goal 4: Advance cultural competency as a core component of Rider student learning for all students, assuring students can identify and explain the potential benefits and/or conflicts that arise from a world that is a complex, interdependent global system of social, cultural, and economic communities. (continued)

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Table 2.1 (continued) Improve the cultural competency of faculty and staff, thereby enhancing their ability to support an inclusive campus community. Recognize and reward faculty and staff that actively contribute to the Rider vision of inclusive excellence. Facilitate a positive campus climate for students that reflects our value of inclusivity. Goal 5: Signify institutional commitment to inclusion by enhancing structural support throughout policies, facilities, and resource allocation. Assure facilities reflect institutional values of inclusion. Support a sustainable structure that integrates inclusion at the core of what we do. Goal 6: Extend Rider as a leader for issues of inclusion with the surrounding community. Promote exposure and access to higher education for local youth representing underrepresented identities. Extend Rider’s commitment to equity and inclusion to mutually benefit our community in ways that advance this commitment. Develop an intentional strategic University-wide communication plan focused on our commitment to inclusion, with consideration to internal and external audiences. Source: Rider University, n.d.-a

• the provost and vice president for student affairs serving as co-chairs for the campus Retention and Student Success Council, • developing intentional workshops for faculty that introduce characteristics and lived experiences of our student body and how they can best support their success, informed by effective inclusive pedagogies, • establishing a faculty and staff cohort to participate in the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) qualifying seminar (IDI, LLC, n.d.), developing capacity to utilize the IDI across the community, • facilitating a shared read program which emphasizes social justice themes and issues, • implementing preferred name protocols in campus data systems, • developing with the Office of Institutional Technology, a laptop-loaner program to assure student access to technology during the move to virtual learning during the onslaught of COVID-19, • facilitating teach-ins and dialogues on racial injustice following the death of George Floyd and the resurgence of Black Lives Matter advocacy for racial justice,


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• supporting educational efforts that explore themes of privilege and oppression both inside and outside the classroom, and • designing new Student Navigation Office and Center for Diversity and Inclusion spaces that are proximal by design and will serve as a source of cross-referral and service to students. Collaborative leadership for initiatives that seek to overcome societal barriers for marginalized students and create sustainable structures which promote success for all students, inclusive of their identities and backgrounds, is essential on any campus that proposes a view of holistic education. With the focus of this volume on intersections with the broader community, another example of a powerful partnership model from Rider University’s Inclusive Excellence Plan relates to the role of a college or university in promoting leadership for inclusion with the surrounding community. While much of the structure that will bring this goal to fruition is in its infancy, two examples of campus commitments to issues impacting the broader community are stated here. The New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education announced a state-wide project to make higher education more affordable and accessible and assure educational success for all residents. They convened a number of working groups representing faculty, staff, and students from across the state to develop concrete plans and resources to guide campuses in advancing the plan (Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, 2019). Rider University took this opportunity to contribute to the knowledge base of the State by seeking representation on working groups that have developed resources that will benefit students from across New Jersey, thereby contributing to our goals to advance inclusion with the community beyond our campus walls. An additional effort relates to our campus shared read program which engages primarily new students, but is open to all members of the community, reading a common book over the summer and engaging in subsequent conversations, in- and out-of-the-classroom, to deconstruct capacious, complex, social issues. Shared read experiences are common

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methods of student intellectual engagement (Upcraft et al., 2005). The Rider University shared read book is selected by a committee representative of faculty, staff, and students. The process is led by a senior member of the student affairs staff, under the ultimate guidance of the Provost. The shared read experience includes an essay contest, with essays evaluated by members of the faculty, small group discussions with faculty during welcome week, small group discussions with the president, and a series of co-curricular educational programs related to the issues presented by the book. The fall 2019 book was The Poisoned City by Anna Clark (2018). The co-curricular components of the shared read experience included a keynote event with the author; viewing of the film Flint, based on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan; a lecture on the implications of the use of lead for drinking water systems; a dance performance created for the Global Water Project to interpret issues of clean water; and a panel of local mayors across several surrounding townships/cities to discuss and contextualize local water issues. This institutional example outlines the process and series of events that demonstrate how a seemingly simple programmatic effort can be demonstrative of effective partnership models that connect curricular and co-curricular learning, engage with members of the local community, help students explore multiple perspectives and aspects of social justice issues, and connect global or national issues to a localized context. These opportunities for complex thinking are the types of grounded learning experiences which support campus goals to advance civic leaders. The examples of intentional partnership at Rider University are reflective of a campus carefully analyzing demographic shifts and reflecting on institutional changes needed for an evolving campus to serve a changing student population—on campus and within the state. The campus increasingly serves students of all backgrounds and origins in a suburban residential environment and continuously considers how to do so in a way that is most authentic to institutional mission which includes a longstanding commitment to issues of diversity and inclusion. As divisions that directly lead institutional efforts impacting student learning and student success, academic affairs and student affairs partner to coordinate efforts to support this strategic direction.


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 ase 2: Saint Louis University— C Values-­Centered Leadership in a Moment of Crisis Saint Louis University (SLU) is a selective, Catholic, Jesuit, comprehensive institution with high research activity, located in an urban environment of St. Louis, Missouri. SLU enrolls approximately 12,000 students (nearly 8000 undergraduate and approximately 4000 graduate and professional) (NCES, n.d.). Student demographics include a significant majority population of White/Caucasian students originating from middle- to high-income families. Also, important to note are the fundamental institutional values as a faith-based institution which include commitment to issues of social justice. This commitment is integrated throughout the fabric of the campus culture and is also seen through outreach to the surrounding community. The campus has received national recognition as second for institutions committed to community service (Princeton Review) and entered its ninth consecutive year on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (SLU, 2016). This case study regarding the role a university can play in partnering to advance inclusion and social justice, and in this case specifically, racial understanding, follows the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri (and across our nation). The tragic death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, provided impetus for Saint Louis University, an institution committed to issues of social justice, to act. The actions were both in solidarity with and in support for brothers and sisters in the larger St. Louis community and as opportunities to engage the hearts and minds of students and other members of the University community on challenging issues regarding the current status of race in our country. The campus hosted two on-campus prayer vigils—one following Brown’s death and another following his funeral. A couple of months later, following a series of related events, including another officer-involved shooting and death of a local African American man, Vonderrit Myers Jr., nearly 1000 people (inclusive of students as well as community members) transcended to the iconic campus location of the Clock Tower in protest of racial injustices.

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The protests included a six-day peaceful occupation by dozens of committed protestors, known as #OccupySLU. Institutional values of social justice underscored decisions made by campus leaders to allow the protests to occur. The best opportunities for learning and positive institutional change can often be presented to us unexpectedly. Staff and faculty, in partnership with one another, used this opportunity to engage students in what was often emotional and difficult dialogue, processing what was happening in the community—nationally and locally—and advancing understanding of systemic racism. Contacts were made immediately across academic affairs and student affairs divisions to coordinate efforts including a series of teach-ins for members of the University community. A schedule of dialogues across various days and locations was established and program structures established. Utilizing faculty and student leaders previously trained as intergroup dialogue facilitators through an established collaborative partnership, community members engaged in discussion, advancing understanding of complex justice issues and how those relate to institutional mission and values of the SLU educational experience. Campus partnerships were also leveraged to establish safe spaces on our campus as a community respite and gathering place from the physically and emotionally challenging engagement in protest activities that continued in Ferguson, Missouri. This was another powerful example of the role a University can play to be responsive to the needs of the community—especially when the efforts align with and exemplify the values of the institution. The on-campus protests concluded with the announcement that SLU had established, through a series of discussions with campus constituents and community leaders, The Clock Tower Accords (SLU, 2014), a document outlining the institutional commitments to social justice and, in particular, racial justice—on campus and in the surrounding community. One of the thirteen commitments outlined included the appointment of a Chief Diversity Officer for the campus. This leadership appointment further enhanced and expanded partnerships across campus units to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion work (Table 2.2). Intentional partnerships have the power to advance student learning and initiate long-lasting systemic change. This example shares an


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Table 2.2  Saint Louis University’s The Clock Tower Accords  1. Increased budget for the African American studies program.  2. Increased financial aid resources for retention of African American students at SLU.  3. Evaluation of SLU’s current scholarship programs to better serve African American populations.  4. Additional college prep workshop in the area’s most disadvantaged school districts.  5. Establishment of a K-12 bridge program, including summer programs, in the Normandy and Shaw neighborhoods to help increase the numbers of college-bound students from neighborhoods in those areas.  6. Establishment of a community center.  7. Mutually agreed upon commissioned artwork.  8. Development of an academic center for community and economic development to be integrated with the community center.  9. Creation of a Race, Poverty, and Inequality steering committee. 10. SLU sponsorship of a national conference on racial equality. 11. Appointment of a special assistant to the president for diversity and community engagement. 12. Establishment of a diversity speaker series. 13. Bi-weekly meetings with an inclusive group, including the president, to continue to advance SLU’s efforts to address inequality and poverty in the community.

institution’s ability to quickly mobilize and collaborate in meaningful ways to support individual students in distress and establish opportunities to expand knowledge and promote reflection on issues of racial injustice for members of the campus community. This kind of responsiveness was made possible based on already established priorities of partnership across academic affairs and student affairs units. Existing structures and shared goals—including a prior history of shared supervision and divisional resources, creative investments in curricular and co-curricular strategies supporting student success, shared leadership for various committees and strategic initiatives on campus, mutually developed co-­ curricular student success initiatives, and regular communication structures—in an ongoing, proactive manner lay the groundwork for trust and shared perspectives which allow organizations to be nimble in situations that require immediate responsiveness. Prior established relationships with community partners, agencies, and leaders promoted opportunities to connect in all aspects of the campus response—from

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planning prayer vigils to engaging dialogues on campus, discussing campus and societal needs which led to The Clock Tower Accords, and establishing safe spaces for members of the surrounding community during a time of need. The events on SLU’s campus following the death of Michael Brown Jr. speak to an institution’s ability to lead with their values in ways that promote holistic student education and advance the needs of the surrounding community. Ongoing investments in collaborative relationships laid the foundation for powerful partnership opportunities in a moment of crisis, partnerships which would be challenging to exercise if not already nurtured. Comprehensive institutional strategies require ongoing evaluation and communication to stakeholders about success, challenges, and timelines in which goals will be achieved. In the case of The Clock Tower Accords, Saint Louis University provides status updates online on each of the defined goals (SLU, 2014), thereby promoting transparency and community engagement.

Lessons Learned and Call to Action No two campuses and circumstances are the same. While the two institutional case studies shared in this chapter are distinct in profound ways and face different diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges and opportunities, there are principles of leadership that can be applied across these (and other institutional) settings. The need for institutions to demonstrate that they are nimble and responsive to the issues presented on campus and in society is enduring. Those institutions that are best poised to act in the moment are those that have carefully defined and reflected upon their values in advance of a pressing moment requiring decisiveness. As campus leaders, we can prompt our institutions to clarify our values and find ways to engage all campus stakeholders in understanding and embracing these values as a proactive measure that can drive our efforts for equity and inclusion and guide us in decisions at pivotal moments. Promoting a shared understanding of, and commitment to, institutional values related to diversity, equity, and inclusion is an essential foundation for effective efforts.


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Articulating these values in the form of strategic plan or goal documents can strengthen understanding and commitment across the institution. Strategic plans typically drive institutional decisions, including resource allocation. Therefore, articulating intentional strategic commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion can center these in resource decisions. Individuals can consider their institutional leadership by reflecting on what they can control and what they can influence (Thompson & Thompson, 2008). While institutional resource allocation to drive significant campus change often requires specific leadership decisions, each of us in our own leadership roles can discern what is within our scope of authority to impact change. This can include deploying efforts that require minimal fiscal resources, seeking grant opportunities, exploring opportunities with local, county, or state agencies with similar goals and mission, partnering with University advancement on relevant fundraising efforts, and partnering with local agencies or other campus departments/ divisions to advance collective goals. Developing collaborative partnerships—across the divisions of student affairs and academic affairs and across the college or university and various community partners, stakeholders, and agencies—will provide additional opportunities to share resources and strengthen the ability to mobilize for meaningful, sustainable change. Leveraging the combined expertise, leadership strengths, and structural realities of faculty and academic administrators and student affairs staff or other administrators on campus (in addition to student leaders) can lead to great outcomes. Consider the partnership efforts that could advance institutional goals and student learning and success outcomes—for example, multicultural competence training of faculty, staff, and students; recruitment and selection of faculty, staff, and student leaders; developing or reviewing policies from an inclusion lens; designing accessible and equitable facilities; responding to local or national incidents that are impacting marginalized members of your community; designing programs that support the success of marginalized, underrepresented, and/or under-resourced students; and engaging students in service learning and community-based scholarship, to name a few. Principles of partnership can also be considered in establishing and sustaining relationships with community partners. As relationships are initiated or strengthened, leaders from different organizations can benefit

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from first identifying their respective institutional values and goals, which can lead to conversation about synergies where mutually beneficial partnerships may be forged. For example, if a college wants to promote that units on campus consider local minority-owned businesses as vendors when they are investing University resources, and the local chamber of commerce needs a space to host a local vendor fair, there may be a mutually beneficial opportunity for each organization to advance their goals and support organizational values of equity and justice. Adrianna Kezar is a pre-eminent author whose research interests intersect the themes of this chapter and lends perspective to how organizational leadership and partnerships can promote change to benefit student success, diversity, and equity. One study by Kezar (2006) considers variables which influenced the implementation of an Equity Scorecard Project on college campuses. The categories of influence are outlined below, along with recommendations and examples of specific actions from leaders in academic affairs (AA) and student affairs (SA) in aligning and promoting equity and inclusion work on campus.

Knowledge Capacity • Promoting multicultural competency and providing resources to advance knowledge, skills, and abilities in areas of social justice and inclusion (ACPA/NASPA, 2015) across faculty and staff is fundamental. –– Example: AA and SA can offer joint professional development sessions on key topics of inclusion across the classroom and out-of-­ classroom environments, providing relevant books, literature, and related discussion across institutional roles. Knowledge can additionally include institutional data on success trends and experiences of students of different social identities to inform improvements to the campus student experience.

Physical or Material Capacity • Allocating resources to a project symbolizes commitment and establishes a foundation for the project’s success. For DEI work, SA and AA


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leaders can align both personnel and operating resources to support this work. –– Example: SA and AA leaders can prioritize divisional goals focused on justice and align time allotted by faculty and staff with these priorities, or pool funding to establish relevant new positions. In addition to personnel resources, division heads can allocate operating resources to support specific diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Institutional Willingness to Reflect • Faculty and staff engaged in equity work need to feel supported in addressing issues honestly and critically, empowered to enact change. SA and AA leaders can lead by example in thoughtfully integrating difficult topics into leadership and committee meetings, reviewing campus data and national literature with a critical lens that promotes double-looped learning. –– Example: SA and AA can engage in distinct analysis of retention data based on individual student demographics. They can further prompt understanding of data by facilitating student focus groups and presenting the findings with key constituents who are supported in developing recommendations and institutional actions based on these findings.

Connection with Institutional Operations • Diversity and inclusion work cannot be effective when seen as additive to the core of one’s work. SA and AA leaders can emphasize the integrated nature of this work with other institutional priorities and mission. –– Example: SA and AA leaders can directly map diversity and inclusion goals with those of the University strategic plan, articulating

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continuously that actions to promote diversity and inclusion advance other established University goals—that the goals are not different or additive, but essential to core commitments.

Leadership • There are many forms and levels of leadership that can promote social justice work across the institution. This should include top leadership (e.g., Board of Trustees, President, and Cabinet) but also engage multiple forms of leadership throughout staff, faculty, alumni, and student constituents. –– Example: A campus inclusion committee structure can be charged by and visibly supported by the president, co-led by a faculty and staff member, and engage a full array of campus stakeholders, each demonstrating critical leadership for core aspects of the work. Results of this work can be shared to engage the Board of Trustees on these priorities.

Racial Climate and Intergroup Relations • To fully advance equity work on a campus, contributors need to feel that there is a positive climate across identities and groups, and a sense of trust that campus leaders will work to make improvements. This involves a complex and ongoing set of factors that need to be continuously analyzed. Institutional inclusion efforts will be quickly thwarted if there is an underlying chill in the climate and ongoing efforts need to be made to promote a positive climate. –– Example: A campus can regularly facilitate a campus climate survey, disaggregating data by various identities and organizationally, sharing data in a transparent manner and facilitating thoughtful planning related to making improvements based on experiences. In their book, Academic and Student Affairs in Collaboration, Levy and Polnariev (2016) speak to an array of partnership models and foci. The


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authors address collaborative strategic planning neither as a goal nor as a product, but as a collaborative process which allows for continuous assessment and improvement to institutional priorities. If your institution is currently developing or enacting an established campus strategic plan, opportunities for goal alignment across student affairs and academic affairs may be clear. If you are not currently supporting a campus strategic plan, SA and AA leaders can find opportunities to align goals and concentrate efforts across divisions that promote student success and the intersect of diversity, equity, and inclusion from a holistic organizational perspective. A powerful conversation-starter to consider to articulate shared goals and priorities is to philosophically define student success and student learning, with diverse learners at the core of the conversation. Brown McNair and her colleagues (2016) have surfaced the concept and terminology of colleges and universities becoming “student-ready,” providing philosophical and practical guidance for institutions to “focus on students’ assets, institutional responsibility, and personal accountability that can lead to sustainable change” (p. 75). Once a common commitment is established, SA and AA leaders can guide processes to define specific actions to advance this change. Two specific tools that might be considered for this reflective work in defining systemic organizational goals include: • a Multicultural Organizational Development Checklist for Student Affairs (Grieger, 1996), and • an adapted template that can easily be applied to guide this strategic planning available in Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs: Advancing Social Justice and Inclusion (Pope et al. 2019).

In Closing The chapters in this volume that follow will focus more specifically on the experiences of students with distinct and intersectional identities and the role of campuses and communities in advancing ideals of access, equity, and success for these individuals and communities. The application of

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partnership literature and campus examples of effective partnerships—on campus and in the community—can be readily applied to these unique situations. With original fundamental goals of higher education at top of mind, it is essential that institutions of higher learning promote equitable access and success for students, inclusive of all their unique identities and experiences. Campuses live within a microcosm of the city or town where they are situated and are reflective of a changing society. A changing society will impact the evolving face of students we serve and educate, but campuses have an equivalent opportunity to positively contribute back to the society. This work is imperfect, is ever-changing, and requires an ongoing commitment of individuals and the institution overall. Partnering across academic affairs and student affairs, along with other community agencies, will advance this values-centered work much further than any individual or unit can do alone.

References ACPA, & NASPA. (2015). Professional competency areas for student affairs practitioners. ACPA & NASPA. ACPA_NASPA_Professional_Competencies_FINAL.pdf Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2018). Making excellence inclusive..­excellence-­inclusive. Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2011). The LEAP vision for learning: Outcomes, practices, impact and employers’ views. AAC&U. Bransberger, P., Falkenstern, C., & Lane, P. (2020). Knocking at the college door: Projections of high school graduates (10th ed.). Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.­profiles Brown McNair, T., Albertine, S., Asha, C.  M., McDonald, N., & Major, T. (2016). Becoming a student-ready college: A new culture of leadership for student success. Jossey-Bass. Clark, A. (2018). The poisoned city. Metropolitan Books: Henry Holt and Company. Finley, A., & McNair, T. (2013). Assessing underserved students’ engagement in high-impact practices. American Association of Colleges and Universities. Grieger, I. (1996). A multicultural organizational development checklist for student affairs. Journal of College Student Development, 37(5), 561–573.


L. Fenneberg

Hirt, J. B. (2006). Where you work matters: Student affairs administration at different types of institutions. University Press of America. IDI, LLC. (n.d.). Intercultural Development Inventory. idi-­qualifying-­seminar/ Kezar, A. (2006). Redesigning for collaboration in learning initiatives: An examination of four highly collaborative campuses. The Journal of Higher Education, 77(5), 804–838. LEAP. (2015). The LEAP challenge: Education for a world of unscripted problems. American Association of Colleges and Universities. sites/default/files/files/LEAP/LEAPChallengeBrochure.pdf Levy, M. A., & Polnariev, B. A. (2016). Academic and student affairs in collaboration: Creating a culture of student success. Routledge. National Center for Education Statistics. (2018, April). Projections of education statistics to 2026 (45th ed.). U.S.  Department of Education. https://nces. National Center for Education Statistics. (2019, February). Status and trends in the education of racial and ethnic groups, 2018. U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. (n.d.). Search for schools and colleges. Retrieved March 25, 2021, from Nesheim, E., Guentzel, M.J. Kellogg, McDonald, Wells, & Whitt. (2007, July/ August). Outcomes for students in student affairs – Academic affairs partnership programs. Journal of College Student Development, 48(4), 435–454. Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. (2019). Where opportunity meets innovation: A student-centered vision for New Jersey higher education. State of New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. https://www.state. Pasque, P., Ortega, N., Burkhardt, J. C., & Ting, M. P. (2016). Transforming understandings of diversity in higher education: Demography, democracy, and discourse. Stylus Publishing LLC. Pendakur, V. (Ed.). (2016). Closing the opportunity gap: Identity-conscious strategies for retention and student success. Stylus Publishing. Pope, R.  L., Reynolds, A.  L., & Mueller, J.  A. (2014). Creating multicultural change on campus. Jossey-Bass. Pope, R. L., Reynolds, A. L., & Mueller, J. A. (2019). Multicultural competence in student affairs: Advancing social justice and inclusion (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass. Pope, R. L., & LePeau, L. A. (2012). The influence of institutional context and culture. In J. Arminio, V. Torres, & R. L. Pope (Eds.), Why aren’t we there yet? Stylus Publishing.

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Rider University. (n.d.-a). Inclusive Excellence Plan. default/files/docs/2019_SA_InclusiveExcellencePlan.pdf Rider University. (n.d.-b). Mission statement.­ rider/vision-­and-­mission-­rider-­university Saint Louis University. (2014). Clock Tower Accords. about/key-­facts/diversity/clock-­towers-­accords.php Saint Louis University. (2016). SLU named to President’s higher education community service honor role.­ named-­to-­presidents-­honor-­roll-­for-­ninth-­consecutive-­year.php Thelin, J.  R. (2019). A history of American higher education (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. Thompson, S., & Thompson, N. (2008). The critically reflective practitioner. Palgrave Macmillan. Upcraft, M.L., Gardner, J.N., Barefoot, B.O., & Associates (2005). Challenging & supporting the first-year student: A handbook for improving the first year of college. Jossey-Bass. Whitt, E.  J., Nesheim, B.  E., Guentzel, M.  J., Kellogg, A.  H., McDonald, W. M., & Wells, C. A. (2008). Principles of good practice for academic and student affairs partnership programs. Journal of College Student Development, 49(3), 235–249. Williams, D. A. (2013). Strategic diversity leadership: Activating change and transformation in higher education. Stylus Publishing.

3 Anti-Asian Racism in the COVID Era: Implications for Higher Education Robert T. Teranishi, Rose Ann Gutierrez, and Annie Le

Introduction Public response to the global COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered the long-standing history of racism and xenophobia in U.S. history against Asians and Asian Americans. From the notion that Asians and Asian Americans are carriers—or even the source—of disease and contagion, the reference to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus” or “Kung Flu,” or the rise in physical and verbal assaults on Asians and Asian Americans, there is a need for more attention to anti-Asian racism and discrimination and the implications for education. Although antiAsian racism has been well documented by scholars, these narratives about Asian American history are not widely taught in K-12 or higher education curriculum perhaps reproducing a racist history of Asian stereotypes and a lack of awareness about the unique needs and

R. T. Teranishi (*) • R. A. Gutierrez • A. Le University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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challenges Asians and Asian Americans face with regard to race and racism in United States (US) society. In this chapter, we discuss the lessons that can be learned from anti-­ Asian racism in the COVID-19 era and discuss implications for higher education. More specifically, we provide a rationale for race-conscious practices by higher education administrators, faculty, and staff to cultivate a culture of critical consciousness and empathy as it relates to current events and their impact on different communities. First, we historicize the contemporary forms of anti-Asian violence during COVID-19 as a part of a broader history of anti-Asian racism. Second, we discuss the impact of racial discrimination, racism, and inequities on the learning environment for Asian American students as it pertains to campus climate. Third, we argue for a more nuanced discussion of diversity initiatives that includes Asian American students in racial equity discourse in higher education. Lastly, we conclude with practical recommendations for higher education administrators, practitioners, and researchers in addressing the current racial realities of Asian American students and, broadly, all Students of Color.

 Broader Historical Context A of Anti-Asian Racism The contemporary forms of COVID-19 racism against Asians and Asian Americans are rooted in a long-standing history of anti-Asian racism. Those who have studied and/or lived Asian American history are more intimate with the racial violence toward this community as anti-Asian discrimination is not covered in mainstream news or scholarship. Only recently have the resurgence of anti-Asian physical violence been made visible, primarily by organizers, activists, and scholars. Those who have studied and/or lived Asian American history know that. We define anti-­ Asian racism as a distinct form of racism experienced by Asians and Asian Americans expressed in individual and systemic forms of racial discrimination, ostracization, and violence based on ideologies of inferiority to Whites (Lee, 2015).

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The “yellow peril” rhetoric stigmatizes and labels Asians and Asian Americans as carriers of disease, enemies of the state, and a threat to the national (White) identity and economy of the United States. This racist ideology of being a peril to society was used to rationalize acts of violence against people of Asian descent (Lee, 2019). For example, in September 1882, White vigilantes slaughtered 28 Chinese people at Rock Springs, Wyoming, and torched 79 Chinese workers to death because White workers saw Chinese individuals as a competition and threat to their jobs (Pfaelzer, 2008). In January 1930, a White mob of about 500 people assaulted and beat Filipino farmworkers at a dance club, who were seen dancing with White women in Watsonville, California (De Witt, 1979). And in June 1982, two White men physically beat Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, to death mistaking Chin as Japanese, thus blaming Chin for the rise of unemployment in the automotive industry in Detroit, Michigan (Choy & Tajima-Peña, 1987); a witness recalled one of the men shouting at Chin, “It’s because of you mother***ers that we’re out of work.” As historians have documented, violence done upon the Asian and Asian American community is nothing new. The contemporary racism experienced by Asians and Asian Americans has evolved to be insidious in nature (e.g., being praised as “model minorities” which reproduces anti-­ Black racial logics), more undetectable rather than overt, except during times when there is a perceived threat to national safety, security, or identity. As soon as news outlets reported SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) origins from Wuhan, China, in addition to the 45th administration’s characterization of the virus as the “Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu virus,” individuals in the United States who implicitly believed that Asians and Asian Americans are a (yellow) peril to society now had ammunition to justify acts of discrimination, bullying, verbal harassment, and physical assault against Asians and Asian Americans (Tessler et al., 2020). Asian American history is U.S. history, yet we often do see the experiences of the Asian and Asian American community taught in K-12 curriculum. In higher education, undergraduate students do not learn the racist and violent history about Asians and Asian Americans unless they take a course in Asian American studies. Violence against Asians and Asian Americans parallels the experiences of Black, Latina/o/x, Indigenous, and Pacific Islander


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communities. Students can gain critical insights about contemporary nature of race, race relations, and different forms and functions of racism by learning about Asian American history, which calls for a greater discussion on the significance of ethnic studies in education.

Asian Americans and Campus Climate Research on the Asian American college experience has been growing but remains limited. Historically, Asian American students are portrayed as being overrepresented on college campuses without a critical examination of their racialized experiences. Surprisingly, few empirical studies link the role of higher education on Asian American identity. In a sense, the “de-minoritization” of Asian Americans in education literature has made them a low priority for racial inquiry (Trieu, 2018). Yet, a handful of studies that focus on Asian Americans and sense of belonging on campus reveal a discrepancy between their numerical representation and overall satisfaction. For example, a report conducted by the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE) revealed that despite making up the largest racial group at the University of California, Los Angeles, Asian Americans students reported feelings of isolation and lack of representation on campus. Further, their perception of campus climate and overall (dis)satisfaction are aligned with those of other racial and ethnic communities. Though Asian Americans are portrayed as an aracialized group, studies showed that Asian American students face racial discrimination and microaggressions that are parallel to their Black and Latina/o/x peers (Nguyen et al., 2018). Asian American students, for example, are typically the center of racialized jokes (Johnston & Yeung, 2014). Whether it is an Asian-­ themed college party (Johnson, 2013) or viral memes (Gin, 2019), the prevalent racism and discrimination Asian American students face is evident. Even then, racism against Asian American students is less seriously entertained. The heightened awareness of campus racial climate becomes ever more critical amidst the global outbreak of COVID-19, revealing the depths of anti-Asian racism that long predated the pandemic. While most incidents

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have been reported in the community, authors of STOP AAPI HATE identified 2.5 percent of the incident reports to come from university sites (Jiang, 2020). At the University of New Mexico, an international Chinese student filed a police report after someone covered his dorm room with plastic and posted a sign that read “Caution, Keep Out, Quarantine.” During a zoom meeting for the Chinese Student Association at California Polytechnic State University, non-members interrupted their meeting shouting racial slurs and xenophobic comments in the chat. At the University of California, Berkeley, the University Health Services posted an infographic on common reactions to COVID-19 that stated, “Xenophobia: fears about interacting with those who might be from Asia and guilt about these feelings is normal.” With the normalization of racist banter and harassment against the Asian American community, students may feel targeted leading to physical and mental distress (Cress & Ikeda, 2003) and disengagement (Tausen et al., 2020). These feelings may be exacerbated within the current political climate as a report by the Pew Center documented how Asian Americans are more likely to feel targeted by anti-Asian jokes and sentiments since the COVID-19 pandemic (Jiang, 2020). Moreover, online instruction can cause a sense of isolation, which can heighten the negative impacts of being disproportionately targeted during the pandemic. Given the surge of anti-Asian racism in the midst of systemic anti-­ Black racism—in addition to society’s shift to virtual instruction—it is critical that higher education institutions be proactive in combating hostile environments for Students of Color. Our students’ physical and emotional well-being is inextricably linked to events that take place outside the university. To improve campus racial climate, schools must be aware of the detrimental effects of racial discrimination, racism, and inequities that impact the learning environment for students. Despite the critical mass of undergraduate Asian American students across some universities, there still remains feelings of invisibility and marginalization (CARE, 2016). The racialization of Asian American educational experiences suggests a limitation in relying on numerical representation as a primary indicator for racial equity. Rather, the negative experiences that Asian American students have on college campuses should urge higher education institutions to think deeply on how Students of Color experience


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racism so that they feel supported, valued, and welcomed because of their racial and ethnic identity, not despite it.

Asian Americans and Diversity Initiatives For Students of Color, diversity initiatives can be seen as institutional efforts to provide a supportive campus climate, one that is compatible with their racial and ethnic identity (Harper & Hurtado, 2007). The implementation of diversity initiatives by universities demonstrates a commitment to student success and positive environment. As Patton et al. (2019) posited, “Students today, like in previous decades, want and deserve to attend college in an environment that is validating, supportive, and equitable from the time they enter campus until they successfully graduate” (p. 192). Asian American students, however, tend to be excluded from diversity and equity efforts, pointing to the ways that they are not seen as marginalized enough for institutional support. Their representation as a group that has achieved academic mobility despite absence of institutional support puts them at a disadvantage for programs and services that would provide more equitable outcomes (Poon, 2014). In a STEM conference paper, Iporac (2020) criticized the National Science Foundation for not including Asian Americans as an underrepresented minority group. Doan (2006) reported that teachers are not likely to refer Asian Americans from low socioeconomic backgrounds to academic enrichment programs. Similarly, Noguera (2003) wrote how academic support or special services remain limited for Asian Americans. In fact, some diversity programs tend not to consider Asian Americans as an underrepresented group (Von Bergen, 2012). The systematic exclusion of Asian Americans from diversity and equity programs at best perpetuates their racial ambiguousness, further contributing to the lack of critical understanding of their racialized experiences. Yet, in the context of Asian Americans and racism, understanding the nuances of their racialized identity can bolster greater diversity initiatives through a critical examination of their experiences on campus. For example, several studies that investigated how Asian Americans experience race

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and racism on campus advocate for future research to consider racial heterogeneity (Museus & Truong, 2009). The college experiences of Asian Americans vary greatly depending on their racial and ethnic background, as well as their socioeconomic status and immigration history (Teranishi & Kim, 2017). Researchers therefore recommend that data on Asian American students be disaggregated for a more intricate and accurate understanding as racializing students as monolithic groups overlooks the diversity and varying experiences within race. Other racial groups will also benefit from disaggregated data to further understand differences within groups, which will contribute to a deeper understanding of commonalities across racial groups. Additionally, institutions should seek to address the intersecting identities of Asian Americans, as well as other Students of Color. While ethnicity is a salient factor to examine, we must also consider how it interacts with other identities including gender, sexuality, class, and immigration status. For instance, a student’s racialized experience may also be impacted by their undocumented status which poses unique barriers that undocumented Asian American students may face in their educational access and pathways (Buenavista, 2018). The processes of racialization differentially impact student experiences and outcomes when we consider the relationship students have with their intersecting identities. Institutions looking to bolster diversity initiatives and transform student experience must therefore acknowledge the unique needs of Asian American students and other Students of Color to gain the benefits of a diverse study body. Diversity initiatives will not be enough without nuanced inclusion. Fostering meaningful diversity initiatives that serve Asian American students is not mutually exclusive to that population. By being proactive about improving campus climate, universities can ensure that students feel welcomed and valued. In the COVID-19 era, it is especially critical for higher education institutions to address and denounce anti-Asian racism and xenophobia through writing public statements, supporting pre-­ existing student groups, and providing a commitment to better understanding their needs. Students will pay attention to what universities do, and more importantly do not do, to express their compassion during such a pivotal moment in the racial climate. Institutions serving a


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diverse student body have an opportunity to shape the educational experience, outcome, and success for all their students.

Conclusion The current discourse on Asian American students in higher education is dominated by the model minority narrative—a myth that characterizes Asian American students as academically successful not needing any support. Moreover, when Asian American students are discussed in higher education, dialogues are confined to topics of affirmative action and admissions. Thus, Asian Americans continue to be omitted from conversations surrounding racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. As we discussed in our chapter, the Asian and Asian American community and students in higher education are not immune from racism; in fact, COVID-19 has illuminated the forms of discrimination, harassment, and verbal and physical assault that mirror similar experiences to other Communities of Color. However, there continues to be a lack of urgency from higher education institutions to respond and provide the appropriate support for Asian American students that goes beyond a written statement of solidarity. Given the significant uptick in visible violence against elders in the Asian and Asian American community in the first quarter of 2021, higher education institutions need to recognize that addressing the needs of the Asian and Asian American community is, too, part of the commitment to achieving racial equity. Based on what we have learned about anti-­ Asian racism in the COVID-19 pandemic era, below are recommendations we have for higher education administrators, practitioners, and researchers. First, we recommend that diversity initiatives need to conceptualize initiatives beyond compositional diversity, or the numerical representation of racial and ethnic groups on campus, as it concerns Asian American students, who are often de-minoritized due to their overrepresentation on college campuses (Lee, 2006). While compositional diversity has been found to create an intellectual atmosphere where all students can grow and widen their viewpoints on social issues through exposure of varying perspectives, diversity is a process, not an end in itself (Milem et  al.,

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2005). Diversity initiatives ought to (1) think about how Asian American history is included in discourses of race in their department’s curriculum that connects and enhances the discussions already occurring in Asian American studies; (2) create culturally sustainable programs and services, informed by research, that address the needs of specific Asian American student subethnic populations on campus; and (3) provide specific strategies during diversity and inclusion trainings as it concerns working with Asian American students, which includes subtle forms of anti-Asian racism, or racial microaggressions, that are embedded in speech, attitude, and academic expectations. Second, we recommend that higher education institutions collect disaggregated data on Asian American students. There exist 24 subethnic populations within the larger Asian American aggregate (CARE, 2008; Chaudhari et al., 2013). While the Asian American pan-ethnic identity has been useful in politically galvanizing coalitions in the 1960s and contemporary social movements, as it concerns broader Asian American issues (Espiritu, 1992), Asian American as an aggregate category in research does not capture the nuances across the varying needs of different Asian American subethnic populations. Disaggregated data can reveal the proportion of different Asian American subethnic student populations on campus thereby informing higher education institutions to create targeted financial and programmatic support. Collecting disaggregated data is not only useful for understanding the needs of Asian American students; we also recommend doing the same for other racial groups like Blacks, Latina/o/xs, Indigenous, and Pacific Islanders in order to inform equitable resource allocation for students in higher education. Lastly, we recommend funding cross-racial/ethnic collaborations student programs in order to build capacity and leverage multiple forms of resources—recognizing that students are a powerful resource. A rich history exists where coalition building between student groups across racial and ethnic lines has transformed higher education institution curriculum, practices, and policies (Chung & Chang, 1998; Rhoads, 2016; Soltis, 2015). Student organizations play a critical role in fostering students’ sense of belonging and overall campus experience (Nguyen et al., 2018). Funding student groups who create cross-racial/ethnic collaborative programs signal to students that the institutions are listening to their


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voice and believe the impact of their work. Collaborative spaces across racial and ethnic lines of difference can also provide students an opportunity to identify the intersectional ways their struggles and experiences parallel yet are distinct. Additionally, these spaces can cultivate students’ critical consciousness rooted in solidarity that inform the ways they organize, strategize, and mobilize when addressing issues of equity and collective liberation.

References Buenavista, T. L. (2018). Model (undocumented) minorities and “illegal” immigrants: Centering Asian Americans and US carcerality in undocumented student discourse. Race Ethnicity and Education, 21(1), 78–91. Chaudhari, P., Chan, J., & Ha, S. (2013). A national report on the needs and experiences of low-income Asian American and Pacific Islander scholarship recipients.. Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. Choy, C., & Tajima-Peña, R. (Producers & Directors). (1987). Who killed Vincent Chin? [Documentary]. Filmakers Library. Chung, A. Y., & Chang, E. T. (1998). From Third World liberation to multiple oppression politics: A contemporary approach to interethnic coalitions. Social Justice, 25(3), 80–100. Cress, C. M., & Ikeda, E. K. (2003). Distress under duress: The relationship between campus climate and depression in Asian American college students. NASPA Journal, 40(2), 74–97. De Witt, H. A. (1979). The Watsonville anti-Filipino riot of 1930: A case study of the great depression and ethnic conflict in California. Southern California Quarterly, 61(3), 291–302. Doan, K. (2006). A sociocultural perspective on at-risk Asian American students. Teacher Education and Special Education, 29(3), 157–167. Espiritu, Y.  L. (1992). Asian American pan-ethnicity: Bridging institutions and identities. Temple University Press. Gin, K. J. (2019). Racialized Aggressions and Sense of Belonging Among Asian American College Students. Institute for Asian American Studies Publications, 44, 1–26. Harper, S. R., & Hurtado, S. (2007). Nine themes in campus racial climates and implications for institutional transformation. New Directions for Student Services, 2007(120), 7–24.

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Iporac, L. A. R. (2020). Are Asians and Asian-Americans excluded in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives? Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin, 29, 132–133. Jiang, S. (2020). Asian and Asian American college students’ educational and career dilemmas during COVID-19.. Center for Research on College-­ Workforce Transitions. Johnson, M. A. (2013, February). Duke students rally against anti-Asian frat party. NBC News. Johnston, M. P., & Yeung, F. P. (2014). Asian Americans and campus climate: Investigating group differences around a racial incident. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 51(2), 143–156. Lee, E. (2015). The making of Asian America: A history.. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. Lee, E. (2019). America for Americans: A history of xenophobia in the United States. Basic Books. Lee, S.  S. (2006). Over-represented and re-Minoritized: The racialization of Asian Americans in higher education. Interactions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 2(2), 1–16. Milem, J. F., Chang, M. J., & Antonio, A. L. (2005). Making diversity work on campus: A research-based perspectives. Association of American Colleges and Universities. Museus, S. D., & Truong, K. A. (2009). Disaggregating qualitative data from Asian American college students in campus racial climate research and assessment. New Directions for Institutional Research, 142, 17–26. National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education. (2016) The racialized experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander students: An examination of campus racial climate at the University of California, Los Angeles. Author. National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE). (2008). Facts, not fiction: Setting the record straight. Author. Nguyen, M. H., Chan, J., Nguyen, B. M. D., & Teranishi, R. T. (2018). Beyond compositional diversity: Examining the campus climate experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 11(4), 484. Noguera, P. (2003). City schools and the American dream: Reclaiming the promise of public education. Teachers College Press.


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Patton, L. D., Sánchez, B., Mac, J., & Stewart, D. L. (2019). An inconvenient truth about “progress”: An analysis of the promises and perils of research on campus diversity initiatives. The Review of Higher Education, 42(5), 173–198. Pfaelzer, J. (2008). Drive out: The forgotten war against Chinese Americans. University of California Press. Poon, O. (2014). “The land of opportunity doesn’t apply to everyone”: The immigrant experience, race, and Asian American career choices. Journal of College Student Development, 55(6), 499–514. Rhoads, R.  A. (2016). Student activism, diversity, and the struggle for a just society. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 9(3), 189–202. Soltis, L.  E. (2015). From freedom schools to freedom university: Liberatory education, interracial and intergenerational dialogue, and the undocumented student movement in the U.S. south. Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, 17(1–2), 20–53. Tausen, B. M., Jin, J., Kim, P. Y., Law, K., & Kendall, D. (2020). Academic community support, campus racial climate, and subjective well-being during the coronavirus outbreak among Asian American college students. Journal of Asian American Studies, 23(3), 367–385. Teranishi, R. T., & Kim, V. (2017). The changing demographic landscape of the nation: Perspectives on college opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Educational Forum, 81(2), 204–216. Tessler, H., Choi, M., & Kao, G. (2020). The anxiety of being Asian American: Hate crimes and negative biases during the COVID-19 pandemic. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 45, 636–646. Trieu, M. M. (2018). “It was about claiming space”: Exposure to Asian American studies, ethnic organization participation, and the negotiation of self among Southeast Asian Americans. Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 21(4), 518–539. Von Bergen, A.  N. (2012). The Asian American college experience at a diverse institution: Campus climate as a predictor of sense of belonging [unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Houston.

4 Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality: Future Directions for Research and Practice Marcela G. Cuellar and Cristobal Salinas Jr.

College enrollments are becoming increasingly racially diverse, especially with a growing representation of students from Latin American backgrounds at many campuses. In fall 2017, 19.6% of all college students were Latin*,1 a figure that more than doubled since 2000 (McFarland et al., 2019). The share of Latin* 25- to 29-year-olds with a bachelor’s or more advanced degree also jumped from 10% in 2000 to 21% in 2018  In an effort to be inclusive of all people from Latin American descent and given that not all people identify with one of the common panethnic terms to refer to this group, we use the term Latin*. Latin* encompasses the multiple genders and gender identities within the Latin* populations, and honors the diversity and intersectionality of gender, sexual identity, race, ethnicity, language, and immigration status (Salinas, 2020). Latin* can refer to the following terms: “Latinx, [Latini], Latiné, Latinu, Latino, Latina, Latina/o, Latin@, Latin, or Latin American” (Salinas, 2020, p. 164). 1

M. G. Cuellar (*) University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA e-mail: [email protected] C. Salinas Jr. Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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(McFarland et al., 2019). Yet, institutions continue to grapple with better supporting Latin*’s success. For instance, with the cohort entering college in fall 2009, colleges graduated 53.6% of Latin* students compared to 63.3% of white students within six years (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2017). Gaps are also observed between males and females.2 Colleges graduated 57% of Latinas compared to 49% of Latinos within six years (NCES, 2017). Many campuses are thus particularly interested in addressing the needs of this student population and boosting graduation rates. As institutions consider how to best support Latin* student success, colleges and universities must be attuned to the diversity that exists within this group (Nguyen et al., 2017; Núñez, 2014; Zerquera et al., 2020). The extent to which institutions intentionally consider this heterogeneity and the range of experiences that may emerge along these identities varies, perhaps largely as a result of the limited scholarship and tools that capture the variability in experiences among this group. To promote greater access and success among Latin* communities, Núñez (2014) proposes that higher education research and practice must employ intersectional approaches that account for multiple social identities among this group along with organizational and sociohistorical factors. Our chapter focuses on Latin* college students’ diversity and intersectionality. To help inform practitioners and researchers’ understanding of Latin* students, we synthesize various literatures to illustrate the complexity and diversity among this racial/ethnic group as well as contextual factors that shape how Latin* self-identify. We then build on an intersectional framework (Núñez, 2014) to review varied experiences and outcomes among Latin* college students. We further consider how intersectionality can inform how Latin* students make sense of multiple identities. To do this, we draw from scholarship on how Afro-Latin* and Latin* undocumented students develop critical consciousness and make meaning of their multiple identities. We conclude by providing recommendations for recognizing the diversity among this racial/ethnic group and how intersectionality in research and practice can create more inclusive college environments and equitable outcomes for Latin* students.  This National Center for Education Statistics data source only collects people’s sex.


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Diversity in Latin* Identities Several  panethnic terms are used to refer to Latin* people. Thus, it is important to first provide definitions of these terms. For example, the labels Hispanic and Latino are used to describe a heterogeneous group of people within the United States. The term Hispanic was first used in the US Census in 1980 (Garcia et al., 2021) and derives from “Hispania”— Latin word for Spain, which later became España (González & Gándara, 2005). In 2000, for the first time, the US Census used the term Latino to collect data. Subsequently, both terms—Hispanic and Latino—have been adopted by the US census and governmental agencies (Garcia et al., 2021). Yet, it is important to recognize that these terms can mean different things to different people. Hispanic broadly refers to individuals from Spanish-speaking countries (Salinas, 2015), including individuals with ancestry from Spain. This term, however, excludes individuals from South American countries that are not Spanish-speaking, such as Belize, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname (Salinas & Lozano, 2019). In contrast to Hispanic, Latino broadly captures geographic origins and refers to people from Central and South American countries as well as many in the Caribbean and Mexico, regardless of the language spoken (Nguyen et al., 2017; Salinas & Lozano, 2019). The use of these panethnic terms in the United States varies regionally (Nguyen et  al., 2017; Zerquera et al., 2020), and individuals may also prefer to self-identify by their or their ancestors’ countries of origin (e.g., Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, etc.). As such, diversity among Latin* begins with how individuals panethnically self-identify. Although the federal government does not consider Latin* a racial group (McFarland et  al., 2019), many individuals who self-identify through either of these panethnic labels consider these a racial category (Nguyen et al., 2017). As such, Latin* identities are complex given that this group is not considered a race but encounters significant racialized experiences in the United States (Alcoff, 2009), including racialized encounters in postsecondary education (Yosso et  al., 2009). Moreover, Alcoff (2009) notes that not all Latin* are racialized or encounter racism in a similar manner or degree, which requires a more nuanced understanding of the ethnoracial identities within this panethnic group. How


M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

individuals self-identify within this panethnic group varies substantially. Preference in the terms Hispanic and Latino varies by national origin, language, immigration generation, and college education (Martínez & Gonzalez, 2020). Many individuals also hold a strong identification with their national origins while simultaneously holding a strong sense of panethnic identity (Fraga & Perez, 2020). Similarly, second-generation Central Americans possess a repertoire of identities, both a strong association with their ethnic identity as Central American and a belonging to the larger panethnic group, that are activated by contextual factors that make particular aspects of their ethnic identities more salient (Valle, 2020). Terminology to refer to the Latin* group has varied over time. While Latin* as a term centers intersectional identities among this racial/ethnic group, other terms reinforce a gender binary. For example, the term Latina/o was first  adopted in English by Spanish speakers to represent both Latina (females) and Latino (males), to reflect the impact of Latinas/ os in the United States (Salinas & Lozano, 2021). Similar to Latina/o, the term Latin@ emerged to challenge the Spanish grammar rule of Latino and Latina, and to include both women and men in one term (Salinas & Lozano, 2021). Then, in 2014, the term Latinx emerged to be inclusive of all genders as a substitute for the binary labels Latin@, Latina/o, Latina, and Latino (Salinas & Lozano, 2019). Scholars argue that the term Latinx aims to challenge the Spanish language to be gender neutral (Contreras, 2017; DeGuzmán, 2017; Milian, 2017; Salinas & Lozano, 2019). Building on the argument that Latinx disrupts and makes the Spanish language gender neutral, most recently, Salinas (2020) posits that the term Latinx is not fully inclusive of all people from Latin American descent. For example, the term Latinx has been grounded on a Spanish and English language binary and not on other languages commonly spoken in Latin American countries (Salinas, 2020). In this sense, the terms Hispanic and Latinx both dismiss individuals from Latin American countries, including Belize, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname and some Indigenous communities, because they speak a language other than Spanish (Salinas, 2020). As stated earlier, in an effort to be inclusive of all people from Latin American descent and given that not all people identify with one or the

4  Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality… 


other terms to refer to this group, we use the term Latin*. Latin* encompasses the following terms: Latinx, Latini, Latiné, Latinu, Latino, Latina, Latinx/a/o, Latina/o, Latin@, Latin, or Latin American (Salinas, 2020). Furthermore, Salinas (2020) explains that the purpose of Latin* is not to homogenize Latinidad and “is not a gender identity in itself, but rather creates a space that encompasses gender fluidity and identity labels that already exist, as well as those that have yet to be included in the mainstream vocabulary” (p. 164). In addition, the term Latin* recognizes the growing representation of Latin* college students and considers how intersectionality can inform their meaning making of multiple identities, such as gender, sexual identity, race, ethnicity, language, immigration status, and other identities.

Latin*’s Identities in College The college environment provides many Latin* students with experiences that can shape their racial/ethnic self-identities. Torres et al. (2019) and Reyes (2018) refer to meaning making as a process to examine the development of Latin* identities during college. The meaning making surrounding self-identification is socially constructed and influenced by societal views of Latin* communities (Núñez, 2014; Torres et al., 2019). Therefore, it is important to understand how Latin* students make meaning of their identity and how this process is influenced by various factors in the college environment, including interactions with peers, faculty, and administrators. From a multi-institutional, mixed-methods, longitudinal study, Torres et al. (2019) explain Latin* development and contextual influences on this identity. Latin* college students define their Latin* identity through a process of defining one-self externally at a campus, and exploring their racial and cultural identity. Specifically, Torres et al. (2019) propose that through critical moments shaped by changes in environment, involvement in student groups, and experiences with racism, Latin* students learn about their ethnicity. These transition experiences among Latin* students from one stage to the next are referred to as borderland experiences (Torres et al., 2019). The word “borderlands” denotes that space in


M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

which “antithetical elements mix, neither to obliterate each other nor to be subsumed by a larger whole, but rather to combine in unique and unexpected ways” (Cantú & Hurtado, 2007, p. 6). As such, borderland experiences (Anzaldúa, 2007) capture how Latin* students live between two cultures and the relationship between cultures and social identities. Latin* students may encounter new borderlands in a college environment, which can be daunting. However, through affirming relationships with peers, family members, faculty, and college administrators, Latin* students can create cognitive maps to navigate the college environment. These interactions also underscore the importance of mentorship and the need for institutional supports that create more inclusive spaces for Latin* students (Torres et al., 2019). Drawing from an ethnographic study at three colleges, Reyes (2018) also explores how different college environments shape Latin* students’ identity. Faculty interactions, student relationships with administrators, an institution’s demographics and geographic location, diversity programing, and campus climate can influence Latin* students’ success and sense of belonging. Furthermore, these factors shape how Latin* students make meaning of and define their racial and ethnic identity. In this study, Latin* students self-identify differently across three campuses and in non-political and political student organizations. In some environments, students self-identify panethnically as Latino. Others opt for national origins (e.g. Mexican or Salvadoran) or self-identify as Chicano, especially in certain  political  student organizations. Reyes (2018) suggests that in different college environments and through  interactions  within them, Latin*  students construct ethnic-racial boundaries and identities as well as how they engage in politics and understand racial inequality in the United States. These scholars also emphasize the importance of intersectionality to understanding Latin* college students. Torres et  al. (2019) underscore the different stories among Latin* students, including variation in appearance, skin color, accents, nationality, race, gender, religion, language, sexual orientation, immigration status, socioeconomic status, age, and

4  Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality… 


other aspects of social identity that significantly impact how they self-­ identify and engage with others and their environments. Similarly, Reyes (2018) identifies various patterns in how Latin* college students self-­ identify given differences in the college environment and surrounding communities. Given that Latin* communities are often presented as a “homogenous” cultural group, diversity within is often masked (Torres et al., 2019; Zerquera et al., 2020). As such, an intersectional approach allows for deeper understandings of how Latin* social identities intersect, and illustrates how various social identities are influenced by oppression and privilege (Núñez, 2014; Torres et al., 2019).

Latin* Students’ Intersectionality In addition to understanding the diverse ways in which Latin* students self-identify, scholars and practitioners must acknowledge the multiple identities within this student group and how these shape experiences and outcomes. We draw on Núñez’s (2014) intersectionality framework to understand the contextual influences shaping these identities.

Multilevel Model of Intersectionality Recognizing the growing representation of Latin* college students, Núñez (2014) synthesizes higher education research to examine how multiple social identities within this heterogeneous group shape college access and success. In her review, Núñez (2014) identifies variation in experiences by ethnic origin, class, immigration status, language minority status, and gender among Latin* students. Núñez (2014) notes that less is known about institutional characteristics and practices that lead to inequities among this group, which reinforces a focus on individuals and limits the development of institutional strategies to challenge inequities. Consequently, Núñez (2014) proposes an intersectional framework that draws attention to both identity and structure. Most importantly, the Multilevel Model of Intersectionality emphasizes that the power of employing intersectional approaches is social transformation to disrupt


M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

inequity. As such, she proposes that intersectional  research can  lead to institutional practices that generate more equitable experiences and outcomes among Latin* students. Núñez’s (2014) model accounts for three levels of intersectional analyses: multiple social identities, domains of power, and historicity. Multiple social identities account for individual-level analyses, namely different social categories that may shape students’ experiences. Among Latin*, these multiple social identities can include gender, race, national origin, phenotype, religion, class, sexuality, and so on. The second level, domains of power, captures how “societal processes and organizational practices shape the creation, perpetuation, salience, and nature of social categories” (p.  52). She distinguishes between four domains of power (organizational, representational, intersective, and experiential). The organizational arena refers to the role of colleges and universities in shaping life opportunities for Latin* students while the representational accounts for portrayals of this group and language used in the media. The intersective domain refers to the interrelationships, such as those with faculty and staff, that can also shape educational inequity and the experiential realm centers the lived experiences of Latin* students. Lastly, these domains of power are embedded in historicity, the third level, which reflects the macro-level role of history shaping systems of power and oppression. These multiple levels capture the various forces that shape Latin* identity and educational opportunities.

L atin* Students’ Intersectional Experiences and Outcomes An emerging body of literature, most utilizing existing national or institutional datasets, demonstrates how intersectionality among Latin* matters with regard to access and outcomes. Most of these studies focus on individual-level analyses, centering the unique influence of ethnicity. For instance, several studies show ethnic differences in enrollment decisions among Latin* students, particularly in the four-year sector (Cuellar, 2019a; Núñez & Crisp, 2012; Núñez & Kim, 2012). Central and South American students are more likely to enroll in four-year institutions

4  Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality… 


(Núñez & Kim, 2012), including Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and emerging HSIs compared to Mexican Americans/Chicanos (Cuellar, 2019a). Puerto Rican students are also more likely to enroll in more selective four-year institutions (Núñez & Crisp, 2012). A few studies also point to differences according to immigrant generation status within this group. First-generation Latin* immigrants are less likely to enroll at four-­ year HSIs (Núñez & Bowers, 2011) while second-generation immigrants are more likely to enroll at two-year HSIs (Núñez et al., 2011). Beyond college enrollment, ethnic and gender differences are observed in some student outcomes. Disparities in educational attainment by ethnic origin are masked in analyses that aggregate this group (Nguyen et al., 2017; Zerquera et al., 2020). Specifically, Cuellar (2014) finds that Other Latin*3 and male students show greater gains in academic self-concept during college in comparison to Mexican Americans and female students, respectively. In another study, racial differences among Latin* students emerge on social agency, a measure of students’ commitment to sociopolitical change, during college (Cuellar, 2019b). Mexican  Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Other Latin* and non-white multiracial Latin* show similar growth on this outcome while those who self-identify as white and Latin* indicate the least growth compared to Mexican  American/ Chicano students, perhaps as a result of fewer racialized experiences during college (Cuellar, 2019b). These studies begin to shed light on intersectional differences among Latin* that can inform practice and provide some insights for researchers and practitioners on the value of disaggregated analyses among this group. These analyses remain limited to the individual level. An emerging body of work, nonetheless, explores organizational-level influences on Latin* student identities. For instance, different institutional contexts can influence the salience of various intersectional identities among Latin*. Ruiz Alvarado and Hurtado (2015) find that less privileged identities are particularly salient among Latin* students. Female, lower income, LGBT, and Central American students describe  A response category in the corresponding dataset representing a Latin* student who does not self-­ identify as Mexican American/Chicano or Puerto Rican.



M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

these identities as salient across 34 institutions. Other identities remain salient across different institutional contexts. At institutions with more Pell grant recipients, low-income students report lower levels of income salience while those from higher income backgrounds indicate higher salience. On campuses with more underrepresented racial minorities and Latin* students, race is less salient among Mexican American and Puerto Rican students but is more salient among Central Americans when there is a greater presence of Latin* students. Interestingly, gender is not as salient among Latino males at institutions with more females but is so when a greater share of the females are Latinas. Yet, more studies that consider beyond a gender binary are needed to understand how institutional contexts can influence Latinx/é/i/u students’ identities. Other organizational intersectional analyses demonstrate how contexts influence Latin* college students’ educational outcomes with respect to ethnicity. Institutional selectivity predicts six-year graduation rates among Puerto Ricans compared to their Mexican  American peers (Arellano, 2020). Similarly, greater shares of Students of Color Pell grant recipients at an institution predict six-year graduation rates for Puerto Rican and Other Latin* students (Arellano, 2020). These findings show how the characteristics and demographic composition of an institution directly and variably shape degree completion for Latin* students. Other scholarship further shows how demographic composition influences other outcomes. Latin* students attending HSIs, institutions where Latin* students constitute at least 25% of the undergraduate population, demonstrate greater growth on academic self-concept compared to non-HSIs (Cuellar, 2014). By considering these intersectional experiences, at both an individual and organizational level, we can more intentionally validate Latin* students and promote their success.

 omplicating How We Understand Latin* C Students’ Identities and Experiences As Latin* students make sense of their identities, several scholars illustrate how marginalizing experiences, such as those encountered in college, can simultaneously heighten students’ critical consciousness (Yosso

4  Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality… 


et al., 2009). For instance, as Latin* students face microaggressions on predominantly white campuses and learn to navigate these spaces, they are often motivated to give back to their communities and create opportunities for others (Yosso et al., 2009). More recently, Abrego (2011) and Muñoz (2015) illustrated how undocumented Latin* students engage with cultural, institutional, and political aspects to make meaning of their identities. Critical consciousness is subsequently important to recognize in the meaning making of Latin* identities. Many Latin* students simultaneously develop a critical consciousness and make meaning of their multiple identities. Given that Latin* people are diverse in every aspect—beyond ethnicity and immigration status— and “identity is closely related to the context in which we enact our sense of self ” (Torres et al., 2019, p. 75), they learn to navigate various borderland experiences. Latin* students develop an awareness of their multiple social identities and engage in various spaces at once; consequently, they learn to navigate countless borderlands created by institutions, politics, and culture. Because Latin* identity is influenced by external factors beyond the individual, various borderlands exist for people to navigate. In this sense, Latin* students who navigate multiple borderlands create a third space between cultures and social systems. In other words, Latin* students who live in multiple borderlands create a critical consciousness and make meaning of their intersecting identities. We focus on Afro-­ Latin* and undocumented students to show how critical consciousness and meaning making processes occur at the intersection of multiple identities among Latin* students.

Afro-Latin* Students To complicate our understanding of Latin* identity, Afro-Latin* students serve as a prime example. Afro-Latin* are often restricted to either be Latin* or Black (Flores & Román, 2009; Garcia-Louis, 2018). The Afro-­ Latin* identity is a “unique and distinctive experience” that connects and validates the relationship between a Black and Latin* paradox to a quest of developing a critical consciousness and make meaning of “what it means to be both Black and Latino in this country [United States]”


M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

(Flores & Román, 2009, p. 321). Afro-Latin* students can be conceptualized as navigating a borderland experience, where these students live between two cultures and in the binary between Black and Latin*. Garcia-­ Louis (2018) explains that Afro-Latin* students are forced to negotiate institutional cultures and racial and ethnic barriers. Flores and Román (2009) illustrate that the Afro-Latin* experience is part of finding a place in US culture and society, where the experiences of Afro-Latin* can pull in two directions at once—that of the Latin* panethnicity and that of blackness and the realities of US African American life. Through the process of this critical consciousness and meaning making, Flores and Román (2009) argue that Afro-Latin* students create a “triple-consciousness,” that is when “Afro-Latino are thus typically pulled in three directions at once, and shared a complex, multi-dimensional optic on contemporary society” (p. 321). In this sense, triple-consciousness captures aspects of identity beyond ethnicity. Moreover, Afro-Latin* students and faculty continue to face microaggressions even at institutions serving minorized populations, such as HSIs, due to anti-Black and Eurocentric ideologies (Boveda, 2019). As a result, scholars and practitioners must be aware of the unique identities and experiences of Afro-Latin* students at the intersection of triple consciousness.

Undocumented Latin* Students Undocumented Latin* students also develop “legal consciousness” (Abrego, 2011, p. 351) or “legal critical consciousness” (Muñoz, 2015, p. 72) of their status. These terms broadly reflect the nuanced and critical views of the US immigration system some undocumented students have cultivated through social activism, which results in a (re)construction of their own legal identity. It is important to note that not all undocumented immigrant students share the same migration experience; yet, their institutional, political, and cultural position plays a significant role in their development of critical consciousness (Abrego, 2011; Muñoz, 2015). We also recognize that Latin* students are not the only group that are undocumented immigrants, rather our intent is to point that this group of students can hold multiple identities and that more research is needed to

4  Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality… 


explore how Latin* identities intersect and interlock with each other (Núñez, 2014). Critical consciousness and meaning making acknowledge that Latin* undocumented students are aware and engage in multiple spaces at once and that they negotiate their social identities given the political and cultural context. Undocumented students’ critical consciousness is “shaped by memories of their journey and a concrete fear of ever having to live through that dreadful experience again should they be deported” to their country of origin (Abrego, 2011, p. 351) and they learn to navigate borderlands created by policy makers (Salinas et al., 2019). Abrego (2008) points out that undocumented students adapt “language of ‘justice’ to claim legitimate spaces for themselves in higher education” (p. 730). For example, Salinas et al. (2019) highlight how undocumented students adapt policy and terms to refer to them(selves) as “AB 540 Students” (California’s Assembly Bill 540, passed in 2011), “Dreamers” (Development, Relief, and Education for Minor Act was first introduced in the US Senate), and “DACA Students” (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program created during the President Barack Obama’s administration). Undocumented students thus develop a critical consciousness, where they learn to live between two cultures and adapt to policy terms to negotiate various spaces. Abrego (2011) further illustrates how legal consciousness is experienced differently among undocumented Latin* students, by social position, such as age at time of migration. Students’ undocumented status remains a primary identity that shapes students’ sense of belonging and persistence during college, especially during the transition from high school to college (Valdez & Golash-Boza, 2020). In a study at an HSI, undocumented students’ identity is salient in the everyday life of students on and off campus. Undocumented students, nonetheless, frequently refer to other intersecting identities (e.g., class, race, etc.) that shape their college experiences. Valdez and Golash-­ Boza (2020) posit that these intersectional identities are particularly salient for undocumented students because of the seemingly inclusive student body and campus environment situated within a state that is more receptive of undocumented students. These findings underscore the interplay between undocumented student identity and multiple


M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

intersecting identities as well as the influence of an institution’s context on students’ identities. Although, there is a small but growing body of research on how Latin* students develop a critical consciousness and make meaning of their multiple identities, more research is needed as it is clear that “social identities and social context shape Latino college access and success” (Núñez, 2014, p. 43). For example, little research has been conducted on the role of race and ethnicity, immigration status, spirituality, and sexuality in Latin* students’ experiences and outcomes. Furthermore, Latin* students—those who do not identify with the binary of gender—also develop critical consciousness and make meaning of multiple identities as they have learned to navigate the borderlands of two mainstreamed genders (Latina and Latino), and a culture that has continued to erase their Latinx/é/i/u identity.

 dvancing Intersectional Understandings A of Latin* Students The growing heterogeneity among Latin* communities requires attending to differences among this group and not adopting “one size fits all” approaches (Villalpando, 2004). Most research and practices, however, treat Latin* students as a monolith. While this aggregation remains useful and necessary for identifying inequities between other racial groups, a “one size fits all” approach minimizes our understanding of diversity and intersectionality among Latin* college students. This in turn limits the development of practices that may more holistically promote Latin* success. As such, practitioners and researchers should consider how various intersections in how Latin* students self-identify can shape experiences and outcomes. Much of what we know about college students’ experiences and outcomes is based on survey research (Mayhew et al., 2016). As such, this section first reviews how different national data sources gather information on Latin* students and then provides recommendations for enhancing research and practice to more intentionally understand and support the intersectional needs of this student population.

4  Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality… 


 ecognize Limitations in Existing Data R on Latin* Students Various national data sources gather information on college students to inform research and practice, making their collection practices on Latin* communities important to examine. Flores et al. (2020) catalog a comprehensive list of federal, state administrative, and major metropolitan datasets and information relevant to Latin* student success in these sources. Key demographic characteristics, such as ethnicity, citizenship, language, and immigrant generation, are captured in these datasets, allowing for intersectional analyses among Latin* students based on these social categories. Table 4.1 builds on this work and details how a subset of federal and other national longitudinal data sources gather racial/ethnic information on Latin* college students. How these entities gather racial/ethnic information on Latin* determines the extent to which researchers and practitioners can understand various identities among this student population and possible inequities in experiences and outcomes. Currently, many of these data collection practices limit intersectional analyses. Thus, it is important to recognize the inherent limitations in these sources to develop a greater understanding of Latin* college students in the future. Table 4.1  Sample of commonly used national longitudinal college student surveys


Ethnicity question(s)

Community College What is your Survey of racial or ethnic Student Engagement (2017)

Response categories American Indian or Alaska Native



(Mark all that apply)

Black or African American Hispanic or Latino Pacific Islander (non-native Hawaiian)

Additional social identities Gender identity (4 options)



M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

Table 4.1  (continued)


The Freshman Survey (2020)

Ethnicity question(s)

Response categories

Are you: (Select all that apply)

White Other I prefer not to respond African American/ Black American Indian/ Alaska Native

Diverse Learning Environments (2020)

Are you: (Select all that apply)

Additional social identities

Gender identity (5 options) Sexual orientation (8 options) Disability (7 options)

East Asian (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese) Filipina/o/x South Asian (e.g. Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, Sri Lankan) Southeast Asian (e.g., Cambodian, Vietnamese, Hmong) Other Asian Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander Mexican American/ Chicana/o/x Puerto Rican South American Other Latina/o/x White/Caucasian Other American Indian or Gender Alaska Native identity (5 options) Asian (5 options) Sexual orientation (8 options) Black (4 options) Disability (7 options) Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (continued)

4  Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality… 


Table 4.1  (continued)


Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002)a

High School Longitudinal

Study of 2009 (HSLS:09)a

Ethnicity question(s)

Response categories

Additional social identities

Hispanic/Latina/o/x (5 options)  Mexican American/ Chicana/o/x  Puerto Rican  Central American  South American  Other Hispanic or Latina/o/x Middle Eastern White (2 categories) Other Yes; No Gender (2 options)

Are you Hispanic or [Latino/ Latina]? If you are Hispanic Mexican, Mexican‐American, Chicano or Latino/ Latina, which of the following are you? Cuban Dominican Puerto Rican Central American (Guatemalan, Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, Panamanian, Honduran) South American (Colombian, Argentine, Peruvian, etc.) Gender Are you Hispanic Yes; No identity (5 or [Latino/ options) Latina]? Mexican, Mexican-­ American, Chicano Cuban Sexual Which of the orientation following are (5 options) you? (continued)


M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

Table 4.1  (continued)


Ethnicity question(s)

Response categories Dominican

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systema

National Survey of Student

Are you Hispanic or Latino? Select one or more of the following races:

How would you describe yourself? Engagement (2020) (Select all that apply.)

Puerto Rican Central American such as Guatemalan, Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, Panamanian, or Honduran South American such as Colombian, Argentine, or Peruvian Other Hispanic or Latino or Latina Yes; No

Additional social identities Disability (6 options)

Gender (2 options)

American Indian or Alaska Native Asian Black or African American Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander White American Indian or Alaska Native Asian

Black or African American Hispanic or Latina/o Middle Eastern or North African Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

Gender identity (4 options) Sexual orientation (8 options) Disability (5 options)


4  Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality… 


Table 4.1  (continued)


Ethnicity question(s)

Response categories

Additional social identities

White Another race or ethnicity I prefer not to respond denotes federal dataset


Federal data sources. The National Center for Education Statistics manages several federal datasets focused on college students. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), for example, gathers information from every college in the United States and serves as a primary data source on student enrollment. Institutions annually report data to IPEDS on students’ race and ethnicity. Per IPEDS’ guidelines, institutions collect this information through two questions, the first asking if a student is “Hispanic or Latino” and the second requesting racial background based on six options (American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, White). Although institutions may gather data beyond these categories, only nine aggregated categories are reported to IPEDS. Students who self-report themselves as “Hispanic or Latino” are then categorized only by this ethnic category regardless of racial background. As a result, the racial diversity among this group is masked in IPEDS, including the representation of Afro-Latin* in this primary resource. Other federal college surveys collect more detailed data that allow for a broader identification of Latin* students by race, ethnicity, and national origins. For example, the Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS:2002) and the High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS:09) capture the experiences of students as they transition into college from high school and as they transition out of college. These two datasets use six and seven response ethnic categories, respectively, for students who indicate that they are “Hispanic or Latino/Latina.” These surveys also capture students’


M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

racial background on a separate question. While these options are more elaborate than IPEDS and allow for the possibility of exploring the intersectional experiences of Latin* students by race and ethnicity, there are still limitations. The “Central American” and “South American” categories are aggregated and obscure the share of students who self-identify with particular ethnic subgroups (e.g., Guatemalan, Salvadoran or Colombian, Argentine, etc.). “Cuban” and “Dominican” are also not referenced in the response options despite representing two of the largest Latin* ethnic groups in the United States (Flores, 2017). While there is potential for conducting some intersectional analyses by ethnicity among Latin*, the panethnic options used for Latin* in these federal data sources are not as inclusive in terms of gender. IPEDS maintains a masculine reference by using “Hispanic or Latino” and only collects people’s sex (male and female). The other federal datasets included “Latina” which is more inclusive but reifies a gender binary. It is important to note, however, that ELS:2002 and HSLS:09 precede the growing use of gender inclusive terms. Future longitudinal federal data sources will have an opportunity to reflect on the changing terminology for this student population. Other national longitudinal college data sources. Using different sampling approaches, several national surveys collect college student data systematically on an annual and longitudinal basis. Popular higher education surveys associated with research centers, such as The Freshman Survey (TFS) and National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), are administered at many campuses each year and provide insights into a host of student characteristics, experiences, and college outcomes. These surveys utilize different approaches to collecting data on Latin* students and have at times varied in their approaches. NSSE, housed at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, generally collects data using the broader gendered categorization of “Hispanic or Latina/o” to a question about how students self-identify. The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSEE), based at the University of Texas, Austin, follows a similar approach but maintains the masculine reference to this group, similar to IPEDS.  While these categorizations allow for important comparisons with other racial groups to identify and address inequities, they limit the ability to explore intersectionality by

4  Latin* College Students’ Diversity and Intersectionality… 


these ethnic subgroups. Nonetheless, in 2000 and 2010, NSSE included three ethnic categories within the Latin* group (Mexican or Mexican-­ American, Puerto Rican, Other Hispanic, or Latino), which could allow for some intersectional analyses for these particular years. Most of the surveys administered by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at UCLA, such as TFS and the Diverse Learning Environments, also gather racial and ethnic background information on a single question allowing students to self-identify with multiple categories. TFS has also included certain Latin* subgroups as response options (e.g., Mexican  American/Chicano, Puerto Rican, Other Latino) since 1971 but the specific categories have varied slightly over time (Garcia & Mayorga, 2018). The 2020 versions include more categories. TFS lists “South American” as a response category and the Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) survey also includes “Central American.” More gender inclusive terms are also now part of these surveys with the inclusion of “x” to these ethnic subcategories (i.e., Latina/o/x), reflecting the growing adoption of this term in higher education. Nonetheless, these surveys are missing various identities, such as Latiné/i/u.

 isaggregate Existing Data to Examine Latin* D Students’ Experiences and Outcomes Despite these limitations in existing data, researchers and practitioners should conduct disaggregated analyses when possible to consider how experiences and outcomes among Latin* students may vary. Flores et al. (2020) recognize that one of the primary challenges with disaggregating using Latin* ethnic data in federal datasets is the small sample sizes for some subgroups. If sample size permits, however, more research should consider how to explore the intersectionality within Latin* students with existing data. Disaggregation should include ethnicity and race in order to capture varied multiracial groups for students who self-identify as Latin* and other racial groups. While these students may be categorized as multiracial Latin*, this group should be further disaggregated to account for differences that may be masked with a larger aggregated group. For


M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

instance, Afro-Latin* students are likely to experience college differently than Latin* peers who also self-identify as white although both groups could be classified as multiracial Latin*. While this example is limited by not accounting for phenotype, researchers and practitioners should consider how to disaggregate analyses in a manner in which the experiences of less privileged identities are not overlooked. Other social identities should also be considered for intersectional analyses among Latin*. Table 4.1 shows other social categories (gender identity, sexual orientation, and disabilities) gathered in these national data sources. Most of the surveys collect information along several of these axes of identities with multiple response options. Sample sizes for some categories may inhibit certain analyses but may also allow for more nuanced understandings and possible inequities among Latin* students and outcomes.

 ngage in Data Collection Practices Allowing E for Intersectional Examinations Moving forward, institutions can enhance data collection practices to capture a range of characteristics to further  understand Latin* college students. Institutions should gather racial and ethnic identification for these students to more deeply understand the diversity of this group. Moreover, data should be gathered on Latin* subgroups by national origin (e.g., Cuban, Guatemalan, etc.) to allow for intersectional analyses at the individual level. By not collecting this data, practitioners cannot fully consider how organizational domains of power and historicity shape opportunities for this racial/ethnic group. To expand on this, it is critical to ask Latin* students how they self-identify as their identity is shaped by multiple external environments, including: geographic location, diversity in their home community, and acculturation (Torres et  al., 2019). Institutions could provide more open-ended options for students to indicate their race and ethnicity. Additionally, institutions should account for other important intersectional identities, such as language background and sexual orientation. As external factors shaping institutional domains of power and historicity are fluid (Núñez, 2014), researchers and

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practitioners should examine the experiences and outcomes of Latin* students with these forces in mind. Students may also shift in their identities during their college years, so researchers and practitioners should be cognizant of demographic data being used in analyses on Latin* students and when these data were collected as these may pose limitations. Some institutions may only capture these data at the time of application for admissions. The manner in which a student self-identifies, however, may vary during college. This may be especially true for students who develop their critical consciousness as they navigate borderlands during college. If institutions do not revisit the collection of these demographic data, then insights may only be representative of Latin* people who self-identified in a particular way at one point in time. Moreover, if categories are not revised over time, our data collection practices can create new forms of borderlands for students to navigate if they feel invisible or confined to boxes that do not reflect their identities.

Address Intersectional Needs of Latin* Students Intersectional analyses of Latin* student experiences and outcomes in turn can inform the development of policies and practices that aim to reduce inequities among this group of students and promote greater success. Excelencia in Education, a leading national organization advocating for Latin* success in higher education, showcases exemplary programs that intentionally support these college students. Some of these practices center the intersectional identities of Latin* students, such as gender and language background, and aim to support these students recognizing their unique needs. Addressing the varied needs of males and females has been a growing practice in many of these programs at various institutions. For instance, the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program at Arizona State University (ASU) encourages Latinas to pursue a postsecondary education in an effort to boost enrollment rates. This program provides college information to Latinas and their mothers given the role of gender in the college decision-making process of these females, which can influence enrollment in  local, less selective institutions to remain close to


M. G. Cuellar and C. Salinas

home (Núñez, 2014). The majority of program participants enroll in a four-year college, many at ASU, and 71% graduate within six years. Based on its success, a parallel approach targets Latinos and their fathers. Similarly, Project Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success (MALES) at the University of Texas, Austin, provides intergenerational mentorship to males given their growing underrepresentation in higher education. While the majority of participants are Latinos, the program supports males of color further meeting the intersectional needs of this group of students. Undergraduates and mentors who participate in the program graduate in a greater proportion than the overall college rate. Less is known about other programs, policies, or practices that may address the various intersectional needs of this student population, suggesting a need to showcase these more prominently or develop them if none exist. Addressing the needs of Latin* college students to enhance their success will be a priority for years to come due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is exacerbating the gaps in access to healthcare and economic stability that have long plagued many Latin* families and communities across the United States. The health and economic challenges, however, will impact Latin* college students differently based on social identities and roles they may occupy within their families. For instance, females, students living at home, and those that are older in their households likely carry additional responsibilities during the pandemic, which may affect their academic success and general well-being. Some of these additional responsibilities may include caring for sick loved ones and younger siblings as well as working longer hours to contribute to households hit hard by the loss of jobs or work hours. Intersectional considerations of Latin* students’ experiences during the pandemic can provide insights into the types of support and services institutions can offer students that can help them learn, maintain their academic progress, and remain healthy. The historic moment will also require scholars and practitioners to consider the emergence of other identities students may adopt in relation to the pandemic. For example, some first-time, first-year students who graduated high school and entered college during the pandemic refer to themselves as the “Class of COVID-19.” Most students in this group are

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encountering college in a different manner than any other generation of first-year students, including taking the majority of their courses online and fewer opportunities for social engagement with their peers. Although it is too early to tell whether a reference to the pandemic will remain a long-term identity for this generation of students, we as scholars and practitioners must remain cognizant of how we examine the unique experiences of this group of students and consider other new identities that may emerge. For instance, some may develop virtual identities if they primarily take courses online moving forward. How students make meaning of these new identities as well as how these virtual contexts influence how they make meaning of their other identities will be essential to identify ways to further support the short- and long-term success of students. By understanding the diversity of Latin* students and intersectionality, researchers and administrators can garner greater understanding of this group of students. Understanding the processes and multiple forces shaping the ways that Latin* students self-identify can provide insights into better approaches to capturing data on these students. Data collection practices that acknowledge the diversity among Latin* students as well as the ways that these identities can evolve as a result of the college experience are important to consider as these can uncover unique and impactful experiences on student outcomes. Upon identifying possible differences among Latin* students, institutions can create conditions and support services that better support and validate an increasingly diverse population.

References Abrego, L.  J. (2008). Legitimacy, social identity, and the mobilization of law: The effect of assembly bill 540 on undocumented students in California. Law & Social Inquiry, 33, 709–734. 10.1111/j.1747-­4469.2008.00119.x Abrego, L.  J. (2011). Legal consciousness of undocumented Latinos: Fear and stigma as barriers to claim-making for first- and 1.5-generation immigrants. Law & Society Review, 45(2), 337–369. 10.1111/j.1540-­5893.2011.00435.x


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Alcoff, L.  M. (2009). Latinos beyond the binary. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 47(Supplement), 112–128. Anzaldúa, G. (2007). Borderlands/La Frontera: The new mestiza (4th ed.). Spinsters/Aunt Lute Books. Arellano, L. (2020). Capitalizing baccalaureate degree attainment: Identifying student and institution level characteristics that ensure success for Latinxs. The Journal of Higher Education, 91(4), 588–619. 0/00221546.2019.1669119 Boveda, M. (2019). Intersectional competence within a diverse Latinx community: Conceptualizing differences at a Hispanic serving institution. In N. D. Hartlep & D. Ball (Eds.), Racial battle fatigue in faculty: Perspectives and lessons from higher education (pp. 101–114). Routledge. Cantú, N. E., & Hurtado, A. H. (2007). Breaking borders/constructing bridges: Twenty-five years of borderlands/la Frontera; introduction. In G. Anzaldúa (Ed.), Borderlands/La Frontera: The new mestiza (4th ed., pp. 3–13). Spinsters/ Aunt Lute Books. Contreras, R. (2017). The X factor: The struggle to get Latinos in US news stories amid a Latinx push and a changing journalism landscape. Cultural Dynamic, 29(3), 177–185. Cuellar, M. (2014). The impact of Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), emerging HSIs, and non-HSIs on Latina/o academic self-concept. The Review of Higher Education, 37(4), 499–530. Cuellar, M.  G. (2019a). Creating Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs) and emerging HSIs: Latina/o college choice at four-year institutions. American Journal of Education, 125(2), 231–258. Cuellar, M. G. (2019b). Latina/os as agents of change: The influence of cultural assets and college experiences. Race Ethnicity and Education. 0.1080/13613324.2019.1579184 DeGuzmán, M. (2017). Latinx: ¡Estamos aquí!, or being “Latinx” at UNC-­ Chapel Hill. Cultural Dynamic, 29(3), 214–230. 10.1177/0921374017727852 Flores, A. (2017, September 18). How the U.S. Hispanic population is changing. Pew Research Center.­tank/2017/09/18/ how-­the-­u-­s-­hispanic-­population-­is-­changing/ Flores, J., & Román, M. J. (2009). Triple-consciousness? Approaches to afro-­ Latino culture in the United States. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, 4(3), 319–328.

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Flores, S. M., Holzman, B., & Oseguera, L. (2020). Data quality in the evaluation of Latino student success. In R.  T. Teranishi, B.  M. D.  Nguyen, C. M. Alcantar, & E. R. Curammeng (Eds.), Measuring race: Why disaggregating data matters for addressing educational equity (pp.  170–194). Teachers College Press. Fraga, L. R., & Perez, N. (2020). Latinos in the American racial hierarchy: The complexities of identity and group formation. In R. T.Teranishi, B. M. D. Nguyen, C. M. Alcantar, & E. R. Curammeng (Eds.), Measuring race: Why disaggregating data matters for addressing educational equity (pp.  29–45). Teachers College Press. Garcia, N. M., & Mayorga, O. J. (2018). The threat of unexamined secondary data: A critical race transformative convergent mixed methods. Race Ethnicity and Education, 21(2), 231–252. 4.2017.1377415 Garcia, N. M., Salinas, C., & Cisneros, J. (2021). Studying Latinx/a/o students in higher education: A critical analysis of concepts, theory, and methodologies. Routledge. Garcia-Louis, C. (2018). Ni Latino, ni negro: The (in)visibility of Afrolatino males in higher education research. Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity, 4(1), 96–122. González, C., & Gándara, P. (2005). Why we like to call ourselves Latinas. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 4(4), 392–398. https://doi. org/10.1177/1538192705279407 Martínez, D.  E., & Gonzalez, K.  E. (2020). “Latino” or “Hispanic”? The sociodemographic correlates of panethnic label preferences among US Latinos/Hispanics. Sociological Perspectives. 10.1177/0731121420950371 Mayhew, M. J., Rockenbach, A. N., Bowman, N. A., Seifert, T. A., Wolniak, G. C., Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. Y. (2016). How college affects students: 21st century evidence that higher education works (Vol. 3). Jossey-Bass. McFarland, J., Hussar, B., Zhang, J., Wang, X., Wang, K., Hein, S., Diliberti, M., Forrest Cataldi, E., Bullock Mann, F., & Barmer, A. (2019). The condition of education 2019 (NCES 2019–144). U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. Milian, C. (2017). Extremely Latin, XOXO: Notes on Latinx. Cultural Dynamic, 29(3), 121–140.


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Muñoz, S. M. (2015). Identity, social activism, and the pursuit of higher education: The journey stories of undocumented and unafraid community activists. Peter Lang. National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Digest of education statistics. Nguyen, B., Alcantar, C., Curammeng, E., Hernandez, E., Kim, V., Paredes, A.D., Freeman, R., Nguyen, M.H., & Teranishi, R.T. (2017). The racial heterogeneity project: Implications for educational research, practice, and policy. Institute for Immigration, Globalization and Education. ED583600. Núñez, A. M. (2014). Advancing an intersectionality framework in higher education: Power and Latino postsecondary opportunity. In M. B. Paulsen (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (pp.  33–92). Springer.­94-­017-­8005-­6_2 Núñez, A. M., & Bowers, A. J. (2011). Exploring what leads high school students to enroll in Hispanic-serving institutions: A multilevel analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 48(6), 1–29. https://doi. org/10.3102/0002831211408061 Núñez, A. M., & Crisp, G. (2012). Ethnic diversity and Latino/a college access: A comparison of Mexican American and Puerto Rican beginning college students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 5(2), 78. https://doi. org/10.1037/a0026810 Núñez, A. M., & Kim, D. (2012). Building a multicontextual model of Latino college enrollment: Student, school, and state-level effects. The Review of Higher Education, 35(2), 237–263. Núñez, A. M., Sparks, P. J., & Hernández, E. A. (2011). Latino access to community colleges and Hispanic-serving institutions: A national study. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 10, 18–40. 10.1177/1538192710391801 Reyes, D. (2018). Learning to be Latino: How college shapes identity politics. Rutgers University Press. Ruiz Alvarado, A., & Hurtado, S. (2015). Salience at the intersection: Latina/o identities across different campus contexts. In D. J. Davis, R. J. Brunn, & J. L. Olive (Eds.), Intersectionality in research in education (pp. 48–67). Stylus Publishing, LLC. Salinas, C. (2015). Understanding and meeting the needs of Latina/o students in higher education. In P. Sasso & J. Devitis (Eds.), Today’s college students (pp. 21–37). Peter Lang.

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Salinas, C. (2020). The complexity of the “x” in Latinx: How Latinx/a/o students relate to, identify with, and understand the term Latinx. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 19(2), 149–168. https://doi. org/10.1177/1538192719900382 Salinas, C., & Lozano, A. (2021). History and evolution of the term Latinx. In E.  G. Murillo, D.  Delgado Bernal, S.  Morales, L.  Urrieta, E.  Ruiz Bybee, J.  Sánchez Muñoz, V.  B. Saenz, D.  Villanueva, M.  Machado-Casas, & K. Espinoza (Eds.), Handbook of Latinos and education (2nd ed.). Routledge. Salinas, C., & Lozano, A. S. (2019). Mapping and recontextualizing the evolution of the term Latinx: An environmental scanning in higher education. Journal of Latinos and Education, 18(4), 302–315. 0/15348431.2017.1390464 Salinas, C., Malavé, R., Torrens, O. R., & Swingle, E. C. (2019). “It is who we are. We are undocumented”: The narrative of two undocumented Latino male students attending a community college. Community. College Review, 47(3), 295–317. Torres, V., Hernández, E., & Martinez, S. (2019). Understanding the Latinx experience: Developmental and contextual influences. Stylus. Valdez, Z., & Golash-Boza, T. (2020). Master status or intersectional identity? Undocumented students’ sense of belonging on a college campus. Identities, 27(4), 481–499. Valle, A. J. (2020). Second-generation central Americans and the formation of an ethnoracial identity in Los Angeles. Identities, 27(2), 133–152. https:// Villalpando, O. (2004). Practical considerations of critical race theory and Latino critical theory for Latino college students. New Directions for Student Services, 105, 41–50. Yosso, T., Smith, W., Ceja, M., & Solórzano, D. (2009). Critical race theory, racial microaggressions, and campus racial climate for Latina/o undergraduates. Harvard Educational Review, 79(4), 659–691. haer.79.4.m6867014157m707l Zerquera, D.  D., Haywood, J., & de muchas Flores, M. (2020). More than nuance: Recognizing and serving the diversity of the Latinx community. In R.  T. Teranishi, B.  M. D.  Nguyen, C.  M. Alcantar, & E.  R. Curammeng (Eds.), Measuring race: Why disaggregating data matters for addressing educational equity (pp. 154–169). Teachers College Press.

5 Click to Connect: An Ethic of Care Approach to Serving First-Generation Students Online Lynell S. Hodge, Emmanuela P. Stanislaus, and Amanda Wilkerson

Higher education continues to be met with insurmountable challenges such as federal/state defunding and campus/community crisis while simultaneously being responsive to and intentionally addressing the needs of vulnerable student populations. As such, administrators continue to develop innovative support services to buoy campus resources. Institutions often rely on websites and online modes of communication to help students navigate their academic journey. This study examined: How do post-secondary institutions develop a critical care approach for first-generation online support services? With this question in mind and a continued charge to understand first-generation support services communication via websites, the researchers set out to evaluate information-­ sharing strategies specifically during times of adversity. The study was L. S. Hodge (*) • A. Wilkerson University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA e-mail: [email protected] E. P. Stanislaus Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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structured as a qualitative comparative case study of two metropolitan universities’ online support services of first-generation students utilizing the critical care model. In the critical care model educators are called on to counter oppressive forces and to adopt social justice-centered practices (Wilson et al., 2013; Cooper, 2009). The researchers intentionally utilized a framework that centers on equality to evaluate institutional websites to assess and identify potential inequities. The results of this study found that key measures are needed to provide support for first-­generation students without or with minimal disruptions. We argue that institutions must maintain a level of educational justice which includes systemic and programmatic interventions prior to a crisis in order best serve first-­ generation students. Higher education researchers have continually raised empirical questions about first-generation college students in order to advance the academy’s knowledge and practices. These conversations center what it might look like to scale inclusionary practices, enhance transitional experiences, and bolster academic achievement for first-generation students (Pike & Kuh, 2005; Engle & Tinto, 2008; Toutkoushian et al., 2018). While the literature has provided some insights, there is limited information on how to address the needs of first-generation students holistically. How can higher education and more specifically student affairs probe into operations to connect students to available support services to first-­ generation students (Gordon & Berhow, 2009)? This charge is particularly necessary as COVID-19 has created constraints both financial and staffing in higher education. The intended purpose of this chapter is to extend the work of previous studies related to online student support by conducting an examination of institutions that include a history of supporting racially minoritized students and first-generation students. The goal of our analysis is to understand the needs of first-generation students as they relate to creating institutional pathways for their students to locate helpful academic information (Benitez, 2010). Thus, this chapter’s focus will be exploring institutional strategies related to supporting first-generation students and how this information is presented online. Specifically, we seek to understand how post-secondary institutions develop a critical care approach for first-generation support services online.

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One of the most important steps to be able to answer the research questions will be through the research design. This scholarship utilized a structured qualitative comparative case study. To begin, it will provide a brief overview of the ethics of care framework and then identify themes related to the research question. Finally, the chapter will conclude with a discussion as well as action items or recommendations for which practitioners might consider using in the field of higher education to further support first-generation students. We also share strategies related to supporting first-generation students during COVID-19. Conceptual Framework The ethic of care or care theory has primarily been used in health, psychology, and teacher education fields. Researchers have linked the ethic of care to student success particularly in the K-12 setting (Beauboeuf-­ Lafontant, 2002; Cooper, 2007; Noddings, 2002; Thompson, 1998). We propose the use of the ethic of care theory as a unique lens to analyze the support of first-generation college students. The ethic of care theory offers a framework that incorporates justice for first-generation college students and challenges educators to place themselves in the shoes of disenfranchised students. This empathic approach is critical and necessary particularly as first-generation and other vulnerable student populations are adversely impacted during COVID-19. What we knew pre-COVID was that staff interaction was paramount to assist first-generation students. Knight (2004) argues that caring is one of the driving reasons for those who choose education as a profession. Yet, caring is not a trait or characteristic that is celebrated or valued in larger society. As a result, it is assumed that education professionals are aware of and possess appropriate skills to provide adequate care to students in need. Additionally, Antrop-Gonzalez and De Jesus (2006) describe care as “an ambiguous term that means different things to different theorists and is often interpreted through culturally, racially and gender biased lenses” (p.  411). Therefore, it complicates the ability of individuals to come to a consensus. Noddings (2002) discussed how we can care better for each other and this concept can be broadened to encompass organizations such as higher education institutions. Similarly, Nodding argues that everyone has a


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desire to be cared for yet there are conflicting understandings of care. She discusses the concept of caring being tied to being attentive and states that “the care-for is primary; he or she is the site of initial ‘vibrations’” (p. 14). As a result, attention should be paid to the receiver of care. The idea is not to project what you believe the cared-for desires, however, to receive the information related to their desires directly from them. This approach requires centering the needs of the cared-for over all things. Noddings (2002) also provides a distinction between caring-for and caring-­about. She explains that caring-for is more of an empathetic act whereas caring-about is tied to action. Noddings (2002) also offers this thought about the care theory, When we cannot care directly for others but wish that we could— when, that is, we sincerely care about the well-being of others—we rely on principles of justice that approximate (or enable others to undertake) the actions we would perform if we could be bodily present. (p. 3) Noddings’ (2002) idea of care illustrates the relationship of fairness and righteousness that could be adopted by institutions of higher education. Institutions are structures that are unable to actively care for students; however, the policies and access to resources through websites can be agents of care. For example, taking steps to ensure helpful resources for marginalized student groups are accessible. This level of care should be afforded to all students but particularly to first-generation students who experience many challenges in college. The ethic of care also realigns higher education to the espoused in loco parentis promise made to families when students come to our campuses. Consequently, prevailing research has described that first-generation college students encounter several challenges to financial responsibility and perceived college readiness, as well as low self-esteem, loneliness, and lack of sense of belonging (Hodge et al., 2020; Stebleton & Soria, 2013; Strayhorn, 2008). To manage these barriers to success, these students often seek resources via institutional agents, and we argue to use institutional websites for assistance. We also know that departments rely on websites to communicate their services to students. COVID-19 has illuminated larger gaps in access and we anticipate that first-generation

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students could be further disenfranchised. Through the use of ethic of care, we evaluate institution websites to assess the communication of beneficial resources to first-generation students. Methods For the purpose of this chapter, we employed a document analysis to investigate campus websites resources for first-generation students. A document analysis is a systematic qualitative research procedure that is a dynamic methodological approach which allows researchers to corroborate at least two data sources; data sources can be either print or electronic (Yin, 1994). Document analysis is particularly applicable to qualitative case studies generating rich explanations for a phenomenon, an event, an organization, or a program (Stake, 1995). To ensure there was consistency in the analysis of the documents, the research team developed a rubric. The use of rubrics in document analysis evaluation can increase transparency in research while decreasing subjectivity in the assessment process (Silvestri & Oescher, 2006).

Study Design The literature suggests that first-generation students tend to be students of color, come from low-income backgrounds, and seek education in urban schools that provide access to college (Portnoi & Kwong, 2019). In order to continue the work of a larger study, the research team selected two institutions with different recruitment strategies but provided a number of resources that support first-generation students. While each institution’s structure may differ, their goals to support first-generation students were very similar. This comparative document analysis was conducted between a four-year university and a college with similar information available to first-generation students on their websites. The selected institutions stated clearly that they attract first-generation students due to their location, services, and, often, access to support. The two selected institutions were analyzed through the lens of the research question.


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 ow Can Post-secondary Institutions Develop H a Critical Care Approach for First-Generation Support Services Online? Utilizing the constructed rubric and the conceptual framework, our goal was to provide constructive feedback, enhance the learning development, and support first-generation students. A rubric has three essential features: evaluation criteria, quality definitions, and a scoring strategy (Popham, 1997). The use of websites enables organizations to create new standardized modes of communication whereby end-users can engage with electronic language and its function as a communication vehicle which includes organizational values and beliefs (Nantel & Glaser, 2008; Nacar & Burnaz, 2011). Consequently, overlaying the ethic of care allowed the analysis to scale not only to social or individualized practices but also to institutionally relevant actions (Wilson et al., 2013). Thus, the ethic of care theory involves staff taking risks to advocate and seek social justice for diverse students. Findings Because this study was exploratory, the analysis was largely binominal assessment (yes or no) via the rubric. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the selected institutions organize academic and nonacademic support for first-generation college students utilizing the ethic of care theory as a measurement (Table 5.1). Websites provided several examples of tutoring and academic support via a full-time staff or a team trained specifically to respond to the needs Table 5.1  Campus website results

Institution Florida International University Miami Dade College

College readiness/ enrollment status

Peer-to-­ peer support

Adjusting to college/sense of belonging

Financial support









Note: Combined results of research team website document analysis

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of first-generation students. Similarly, institutions showcased peer support opportunities via several strategies, including mentoring, student organizations, and living learning communities (Hodge et  al., 2020). Institutions highlighted scholarships and grants specifically funded to assist first-generation students. Financial support, a listed vulnerability of this population, was the one area in the rubric most institutions highlighted and which featured direct language to communicate information about services for first-generation students. This prioritization to make funding available to first-generation students minimized the likelihood of their education being discontinued due to financial adversity. The research team recognized a consistent pattern wherein institutions primarily focused on four areas of the rubric: college readiness/enrollment status, peer-to-peer support/self of belonging, adjusting to college/sense of belonging, and financial support, which further affirmed the rubrics validity. Discussion The primary focus of the study was to specifically identify resources via websites. Our study did not take into consideration print resources, such as brochures, viewbooks, or pamphlets. First-generation students and their families may not choose to search in this manner. However, by choosing to use the critical care model the research team was able to focus the pathway assessment of first-generation students. To maintain consistency in the search, it was important for the research team to emulate search functions of first-generation students and take into consideration that students’ search practices may be rudimentary. Many higher education institutions accept and enroll first-generation students, and they provide support through a variety of targeted and general services. However, whether first-generation students can efficiently access support services information within a few clicks on a given college or university’s website is uncertain. As evidenced by this study, though institutions have a wide range of available resources for first-generation students, locating this information sometimes proved to be difficult. Furthermore, identifying support services with the characteristics associated with the ethic of care effectively framed the type of information that might be beneficial for first-generation students.


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The desire to help first-generation students achieve academic success can provide the impetus for an institution’s efforts to optimize first-­ generation support services communicated through its websites. As Engle and Tinto (2008) noted, first-generation students are likely to leave college after the first year; providing first-generation students with access to targeted information developed utilizing expectancy-value theory might mitigate the impact of such a troubling notion. Conversely, websites should be viewed as dynamic communication tools. The selected institutional websites were different, which required the research team to be creative in assessing information. A common observation was first-generation students to be characterized from what the team considered the deficit-model lens. Most research on first-­ generation college students focused on their lack of capital and preparation necessary to succeed in higher education (Rubio, et  al., 2017). However, we hope this study provides a counter to this narrative. The use of the ethic of care to support first-generation connects that support for this student population in a manner that supports them uniquely. Additionally, the research team’s venture to surmise COVID-19 further complicates any policy development. Although research on the impact of COVID-19 in higher education is emerging, we find it imperative to explore this topic to shed light on the potential widening of the disparities between underrepresented college students such as first-­ generation students (Stanislaus et  al. 2021). The lasting impact of COVID will need to be rigorously evaluated as an emerging research focus. Stanislaus et  al. found that first-generation students’ ability to access staff and resources during COVID had adverse impacts, for example, challenges to a primarily remote instruction did not account for technology gaps or appropriate spaces to learn in a remote environment. The goal of this study was to review how the ethic of care can be employed through the use of institution websites. This conversation was particularly important as we examined how COVID-19, remote class instruction, and operations impact the execution of first-generation support services. We argue that remote instruction will have unintended implications on student success and first-generation students could be further adversely affected if there is not an appropriate response to meet their needs.

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Recommendations This research study provides insight into how institutions choose to communicate important support services to first-generation college students and provides a unique and nuanced view of institution websites. Websites are where students retrieve their information about colleges, yet limited research has been conducted to evaluate institution websites and their commitment to diversity and social justice (LePeau et al., 2018). Student retention and success are influenced by first-generation access to information (Hodge et al., 2020). This study can aid higher education leaders when contemplating how to support first-generation students on their campuses. Moreover, our study shifted the attention to a critique of institutions which contrasts with the tendency to focus on and promote a deficit-­ based view of first-generation students. We argue that first-generation students have the necessary capacity/capability and drive to succeed. However, institutions need to ensure pathways of information and resources. A flow of information can be operationalized using the ethic of care framework which utilizes a social justice lens to remove structural inequities within higher education. With this framework in mind, the research team offers the following implications for higher education professionals. First, practical implications include challenging higher education practitioners to think beyond traditional views of websites. How might websites take on different forms when nontraditional lenses are used to critique them? With the ethic of care lens, higher education professionals can institute a more thoughtful approach to provide the most vulnerable students with vital information for their success. For example, research shows that first-generation students struggle with financial obligations and the websites reviewed included financial aid and scholarship information to support students in this area. However, information related to on-campus jobs or jobs in the surrounding campus area were not included on these pages. We challenge institutions to think holistically and adopt a one-stop approach to sharing information critical to the success of first-­ generation students. With this approach to the current example, an institution would list all the ways it provides support-related finances in a format that is easily digested by students.


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Secondly, an ethic of care involves obtaining information directly from the first-generation student population. We specifically used the ethic of care theory to review websites, which allowed us to focus on first-­ generation students in our evaluation. Centering first-generation college students allowed a critical approach to understanding the power of institution websites. As a result, it is important to seek the voices and opinions of first-generation students if the desire is to provide information that would help alleviate some of their unique challenges. It is only through their feedback that vital data can be gathered to make meaningful changes to the information that is shared on websites. The insights of first-generation students can also guide how the information is shared and structured on websites. Shifting to include students in the development of website content will break the cycle of departments privileging information that they deem appropriate. Similarly, for higher education approaches to formalizing communication efforts of an institution, we argue that department websites should be included in this initiative to ensure streamlined communication to first-generation college students. Finally, adoption of an ethic of care for websites can be scaled to other aspects of higher education institutions. As institutions wrestle with diversity and equity concerns, websites are a place where equity can be addressed. Equity in the form of who has access to vital information for student success is critical as practitioners address website design. And as we shared previously, knowledge provides access to power. COVID-19 magnified disparities between the racial and socioeconomic groups. The global pandemic disproportionately impacted people of color among which undoubtedly have implications for first-generation college students (Baer, 2020). The practice of an ethic of care provides a framework for higher education to support first-generation and minoritized student populations through shared knowledge and power in spaces where these groups have traditionally felt marginalized. Higher education institutions tend to address diversity and equity through quantitative actions, meaning increasing the number of diverse students, faculty, and/ or administrators (Hurtado et  al., 2012), but not address the existing culture. These efforts ignore other means that impact the experiences of diverse populations at the institutions. With that, it is incumbent on leaders to adopt and implement a strategic ethic of care approach. It is

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through leadership that campus climates can shift to be more welcoming and nurturing for first-generation college students. Implications for Future Research While this study provides insight into how college websites communicate ethic of care to first-generation students, this work could be furthered by future scholarship. Future research should continue to examine the role of higher education websites in communicating services and offering support to first-generation students. This research study shows that so much more can be gleaned from reviewing websites. We incorporated an ethic of care, however; future research can employ other theoretical frameworks to assess access and support on college websites. Analyzing websites through different lenses allow for issues to come to the surface that have not been either seen or addressed. Future research that centers on information gathered directly from first-generation students would provide in-depth insight. Data that incorporates focus groups, interviews, or even simulation will only further/deepen our understanding of how first-generation college students seek information through campus websites. Qualitative studies focused on first-generation students can explore their struggles and their desires for support from higher education institutions. The collected data can help guide what information is shared on websites to support student success. As previously stated, this study strictly reviewed websites. Flyers, brochures, and such are documents that are natural extensions of websites as resources used to communicate student support services. An understanding of communication beyond websites is critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the digital divide that exists across populations (Baer, 2020) which include first-generation students. Conclusion As this chapter illustrates, while institutions have a broad scope of services accessible for online, they often did not make the information easy to find. Our insistence on the need to develop better support online for first-generation students stems from beliefs that higher education must willingly contribute to outcomes that adjust to the student’s needs and are centered within an ethic of care (Knight, 2004). Further, by highlighting the capacity of online spaces to help first-generation students to


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progress in their academic endeavors, the work of this chapter provides a catalyst for the actions of an organization to optimize support programs of the first generation, conveyed via its websites. What will improve the result of our findings depends largely on the actions of higher education professionals who must prevail at powerfully incorporating this knowledge into their work. At the same time if we are committed to helping first-generation students and improving their success then this work cannot be viewed as one dimensional, as it would result in limiting the academy’s ability to ask, understand, and advance interventions that would interrupt change. Relatedly, COVID-19 has magnified that higher education personnel must reimagine post-secondary support in virtual spaces. We argue it will be imperative to adjust teaching and learning in response to limitations supporting first-generation students, such as in-person meetings. Prior to the pandemic, many colleges provided information online. Therefore, we hope readers will be encouraged to generate questions to drive change and further advance how we support first-generation students and other student populations regardless of the modality.

References Antrop-Gonzalez, R., & De Jesus, A. (2006). Toward a theory of critical care in urban small school reform: Examining structures and pedagogies of caring in two Latino community-based schools. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 19(4), 409–433. Baer, D. (2020). Can higher Ed survive the pandemic? Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. can-­higher-­ed-­survive-­pandemic-­pub-­82033 Beauboeuf-Lafontant, T. (2002). A womanist experience of caring: Understanding the pedagogy of exemplary Black women teachers. The Urban Review, 34(1), 71–86. Benitez, M., Jr. (2010). Resituating culture centers within a social justice framework: Is there room for examining Whiteness? In L. D. Patton (Ed.), Culture centers in higher education: Perspectives on identity, theory, and practice (pp. 119–134). Stylus Publishing.

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Cooper, C.  W. (2007). School choice as ‘motherwork’: Valuing African-­ American women’s educational advocacy and resistance. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 20(5), 491–512. Cooper, C. W. (2009). Parent involvement, African American mothers, and the politics of educational care. Equity and Excellence in Education, 42(4), 379–394. Engle, J., & Tinto, V. (2008). Moving beyond access: College success for low-­ income, first-generation students. Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. Gordon, J., & Berhow, S. (2009). University websites and dialogic features for building relationships with potential students. Public Relations Review, 35(2), 150–152. Hodge, L., Wilkerson, A., & Stanislaus, E. P. (2020). How can we help you? An exploration of what institutional websites reveal about first-generation support services. Metropolitan Universities, 31(1), 92–112. Hurtado, S., Alvarez, C.  L., Guillermo-Wann, C., Cuellar, M., & Arellano, L. (2012). A model for diverse learning environments: The scholarship on creating and assessing conditions for student success. In J. C. Smart & M. B. Paulsen (Eds.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research (27th ed., pp. 41–122). Springer. Knight, M.  G. (2004). Sensing the urgency: Envisioning a Black humanist vision of care in teacher education. Race Ethnicity and Education, 7(3), 211–227. LePeau, L. A., Hurtado, S. S., & Davis, R. J. (2018). What institutional websites reveal about diversity-related partnerships between academic and student affairs. Innovative Higher Education, 43, 125–142. Nacar, R., & Burnaz, S. (2011). A cultural content analysis of multinational companies’ websites. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 14(3), 274–288. Nantel, J., & Glaser, E. (2008). The impact of language and culture on perceived website usability. Journal of Engineering & Technology Management, 25, 112–122. Noddings, N. (2002). Starting at Home: Caring and social policy. University of California Press. Pike, G.  R., & Kuh, G.  D. (2005). First-and second-generation college students: A comparison of their engagement and intellectual development. The Journal of Higher Education, 76(3), 276–300. Popham, W.  J. (1997). What’s wrong  – And what’s right  – With rubrics. Educational Leadership, 55(2), 72–75.


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Portnoi, L. M., & Kwong, T. M. (2019). Employing resistance and resilience in pursuing K-12 schooling and higher education: Lived experiences of successful female first-generation students of color. Urban Education, 54(3), 430–458. Rubio, L., Mireles, C., Jones, Q., & Mayse, M. (2017). Identifying issues surrounding first-generation students. American Journal of Undergraduate Research, 14(1), 5–10. Silvestri, L., & Oescher, J. (2006). Using rubrics to increase the reliability of assessment in health classes. International Electronic Journal of Health Education, 9, 25–30. Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Sage. Stanislaus, E. P., Hodge, L. S., & Wilkerson, A. (2021). COVID-19: How will historically underrepresented groups fair in the job market? Journal of Underrepresented & Minority Progress, 5(SI), 1–12. Stebleton, M., & Soria, K. (2013). Breaking down barriers: Academic obstacles of first-generation students at research universities. The Teaching Assistant Review, 17(2), 7–19. Strayhorn, T. L. (2008). How college students’ engagement affects personal and social learning outcomes. Journal of College and Character, 10(2), 1–16. Thompson, A. (1998). Not the color purple: Black feminist lessons for educational caring. Harvard Educational Review, 68(4), 522–554. Toutkoushian, R. K., Stollberg, R. A., & Slaton, K. A. (2018). Talking ’bout my generation: Defining “first-generation college students” in higher education research. Teachers College Record, 120(4), 1–38. Wilson, C. M., Douglas, T. M. O., & Nganga, C. (2013). Starting with African American success: A strengths-based approach to transformative educational leadership. In L. C. Tillman & J. J. Scheurich (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Educational Leadership for Equity and Diversity (pp. 111–133). Routledge. Yin, R. K. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods (2nd ed.). Sage.

6 Engaging LGBTQ+ Students on College Campuses in Urban and Urban-­Emerging Settings Antonio Duran and Kaity Prieto

College campuses in the United States continue to make efforts to engage students who identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Paralleling these initiatives, scholarship about LGBTQ+ individuals in higher education has grown in past years (Lange et al., 2019; Rankin et al., 2019), attempting to understand how institutions can better serve LGBTQ+ students. Researchers illustrate that despite improvements in campus climates over past decades, much work is still needed to create structures, policies, and practices that adhere to the needs of students who identify as LGBTQ+ (Garvey et al., 2017). Whether in the form of student organizations, culturally relevant

A. Duran (*) Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA e-mail: [email protected] K. Prieto The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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coursework, or physical spaces (e.g., cultural centers), institutional agents have continuously tried to attend to this student population in the face of heterosexist and trans-oppressive climates at colleges and universities (Preston & Hoffman, 2015). Yet, a concerning trend connected to these efforts is that student affairs practitioners and faculty rarely consider the ways in which the lives of LGBTQ+ college students are shaped by environments outside of the metaphorical college gates. Put simply, when professionals conceptualize matters of LGBTQ+ engagement, the underlying message is that they are only concerned with LGBTQ+ campus engagement. This is a salient worry at higher education institutions within urban and urban-emerging settings that often have access to resources and services for students by the nature of their level of urbanization (Zerquera, 2016). Specific to the LGBTQ+ student population, urban and urban-emerging settings could be key to these collegians’ academic and social successes. Nevertheless, only a few studies on LGBTQ+ communities in higher education make mention about the role that urban and urban-emerging settings play in the lives of these individuals (e.g., Garvey et  al., 2017; Garvey & Rankin, 2018). Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to critically reflect on the connections that college campuses can make between urban/urban-emerging settings and LGBTQ+ student populations. Specifically, we reviewed LGBTQ+ scholarship to ascertain how scholars have (or have not) discussed matters related to engagement as well as urbanicity in higher education. Following this exploration, we considered how LGBTQ+ student engagement could be strengthened if practitioners and faculty intentionally constructed partnerships with urban and urban-emerging settings. Though higher education scholars have yet to thoughtfully reflect on how urban surroundings influence the lives of LGBTQ+ college students, we find it crucial to further this conversation. Namely, we recognize that settings outside of the collegiate environment can inform the success of LGBTQ+ people in higher education, underscoring the need for this exploration.

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Methods In order to acquire an in-depth view of the literature concerning LGBTQ+ college students, we devised a plan to systemically review existing scholarship focused on this population. Specifically, we employed as a starting place Duran et al.’s (2020) manuscript that examined the ways that scholarship on queer and trans people in higher education engaged with theoretical frameworks. Duran et al. (2020) reviewed articles published about LGBTQ+ people in seven top-tier higher education journals (Community College Review, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, The Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, and The Review of Higher Education), as well as in three non-higher education journals that publish research about LGBTQ+ college students (Journal of Homosexuality, Journal of LGBT Youth, and TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly). To bound their study, Duran et al. (2020) examined scholarship between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2018, knowing that this ten-year period followed the publication of formative reviews on LGBTQ+ people in higher education (Marine, 2011; Renn, 2010). Duran et al. (2020) located 80 articles in ten journals. For this project, we developed a series of questions to assess how these 80 manuscripts engaged with issues of LGBTQ+ student engagement and urbanicity. We each read through 40 articles individually, taking notes in a shared Excel document about whether or not the authors spoke explicitly to these central constructs of interest. When authors did, we included specific examples in the rubric to reference. After we completed this investigation, we came together to discuss what trends we saw in the scholarship. These discussions led to the creation of themes in the literature and served as an opportunity to debrief on how topics of urbanicity can be better integrated in LGBTQ+ student engagement research. Throughout these conversations, we also reflected on how our positionalities shaped our approach to this project, further explored below.


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Positionality Statements To frame this investigation, we found it important to talk with one another about how our backgrounds and identities inform our understanding of the experiences that LGBTQ+ students face on college campuses, especially within urban and urban-emerging settings. Inevitably, our positionalities shaped how we analyzed scholarship as well as the recommendations we provide in sections to follow. For this reason, we expand on these backgrounds below. Antonio’s (he/him) identities as a queer Latino man have been central to the ways that he experiences higher education institutions. Coming from a predominantly white high school, attending New York University as an undergraduate student allowed him the opportunity to explore what it meant to navigate the world as a person of color who also identifies as a sexual minority. He credits the urban space of New York City for being a major catalyst in his identity development. Having access to groups that validated his intersecting identities influenced his perceptions of what it meant to be a queer student of color. The affirmation that he received concerning his identities contributed to his success at New York University and propelled him to advocate for LGBTQ+ populations moving forward. Antonio used these experiences, as well as subsequent ones in urban and urban-emerging settings, to approach this chapter’s topics. Kaity’s (she/her) bisexual identity was foundational to her decision to attend New York University. She sought a higher education institution in an urban environment that would allow her to explore her sexual identity in ways her suburban high school did not. Living in Greenwich Village allowed Kaity to immerse herself in queer history and culture. Yet, as Kaity became increasingly comfortable with her queerness, she struggled to find space—both on- and off-campus—that fully embraced her bisexuality. During her time at NYU, Kaity also witnessed the detrimental impact the development of the Hudson River waterfront had on many queer and trans youth of color who found home and community on the Christopher Street Pier. This caused her to reflect on how her privilege as a white, middle-class woman with access to higher education shaped the

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way she experienced New York City. Her approach to this chapter was thus informed by the politics of space and identity in urban and urban-­ emerging settings.

Literature Review As noted, we designed our review of the literature to explore the factors that promoted LGBTQ+ student engagement and success, as well as how context shaped these constructs. Several themes emerged from the literature, including the importance of high-quality faculty and staff interactions, peer support networks, and student organizational involvement. Few studies, however, considered the role of geography and urbanicity as related to these experiences. Rather, when contextual factors were considered, they typically emphasized campus climate, classroom climate, or co-curricular climate (i.e., the climate of residence halls, LGBTQ+ centers, and student organizations). This emphasis on campus microclimates, or “local socio-spatial environments” (Vaccaro, 2012, p. 429), thus comes at the expense of a deeper understanding of geographic and political contexts as this chapter will show.

LGBTQ+ Engagement and Student Success Only 16 articles explicitly engaged with questions of LGBTQ+ student engagement and success (although one was specific to doctoral students). An additional 40 implicitly or indirectly discussed these matters as they related to climate, inclusion, and identity. Findings revealed that faculty, staff, and peer interaction, along with campus involvement, can influence student success, but these experiences are not always positive. Faculty and Staff Interactions  Of the 16 articles focused on LGBTQ+ engagement and success, 2 explored high-impact practices and student-­ faculty interactions. One examined these interactions for gender-variant students (BrckaLorenz et al., 2017) and the other considered the impact of these interactions on students across sexual orientations (Garvey et al.,


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2018). An additional study explored the relationship between sexual orientation and students’ satisfaction with faculty and staff interactions, which proved to be important for academic success and persistence (Garvey & Inkelas, 2012). Additionally, staff and faculty networks sometimes served as sources of support for queer students of color. Duran and Pérez (2017) demonstrated that queer Latino men created family-like connections with faculty and staff, and these bonds allowed them to explore their marginalized identities. Unfortunately, however, many faculty and staff lack the competencies required to meaningfully support these students, and myriad studies stressed the need for better training around LGBTQ+ identity and inclusion.  Peer Networks  None of the studies we reviewed exclusively focused on peer interaction, but several stressed the importance of peer networks for student success. For example, although trans students may experience negative classroom environments, LGBTQ+ peer communities can serve as an important source of support (Pryor, 2015). In a study of gay male students attending a traditional women’s college, interactions with predominantly female peers fostered a sense of acceptance (Holland & Holley, 2011). Further, students expressed a desire for these supportive peer interactions. In one recent study, queer student leaders of color on a predominantly White campus “envisioned an organization where they could be authentic and engage with supportive peers of color who understood their identity and leadership struggles” (Miller & Vaccaro, 2016, p.  46). This was particularly necessary given the marginalization they experienced within their university’s queer student group. Speaking to this need for authentic engagement, Vaccaro and Newman (2017) found authentic friendships were more important to belonging than casual ones. As was the case with staff and faculty, however, practitioners must work closely with heterosexual and cisgender students to challenge heterosexism and cissexism and to foster more inclusive environments.  Student Organization Involvement  Relative to the literature exploring faculty, staff, and peer interactions, research on participation in student

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organizations was robust, with over ten articles engaging with the topic. Student organization involvement was important for students’ sense of belonging and, ultimately, for their success (Pitcher et al., 2018; Vaccaro & Newman, 2017). In fact, Pitcher et al. (2018) found that some students may have left their institutions had it not been for the connections they made through LGBTQ+ student organizations. Unfortunately, while these organizations help support students’ academic and social success, they are not always available (Nguyen et al., 2018). At community colleges, for example, student-led Gay-Straight Alliances are more common than established and institutionally supported LGBTQ+ resources, placing the burden of support on student peers (Nguyen et al., 2018). Another challenge comes from the climate of these organizations, as this chapter will later discuss. LGBTQ+ student organizations can be sites of transphobia, biphobia, and racism, and are thus not always welcoming (Dugan & Yurman, 2011; Miller & Vaccaro, 2016; Nicolazzo, 2016). As such, LGBTQ+ students should not be funneled exclusively into LGBTQ+-focused organizations; rather, various forms of involvement should be encouraged (Tillapaugh, 2015). 

Context Twenty-nine articles considered contextual influences pertaining to LGBTQ+ student success and engagement, with an additional 20 articles engaging with context to a lesser degree. Several articles explored context through the use of ecological (e.g., Garvey et  al., 2017; King, 2011; Nguyen et  al., 2018; Rockenbach et  al., 2017; Vaccaro & Newman, 2017) or organizational (e.g., Pitcher et al., 2018) frameworks. Although most articles were attuned to questions of context, they often limited their considerations to climate issues. In this section we synthesize literature examining collegiate climates and make note of the smaller subset of articles that addressed off-campus contexts. Campus Climate Literature on LGBTQ+ students predominantly focused on campus climate, with more recent scholarship including digi-


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tal campus climate as well (e.g., Taylor et al., 2018). Scholars also began to explore within-group differences and campus climate perceptions. Findings revealed that while LGBTQ+ students generally contended with poor campus climates, not all members of the LGBTQ+ ­community perceived campus climate in the same way (Tetreault et al., 2013). For instance, trans students generally perceive campus climate more negatively than cisgender peers (Dugan et al., 2012; Garvey & Rankin, 2015). Additional scholarship has identified that bisexual students also report less positive campus climate than lesbian and gay peers (Dugan & Yurman, 2011). Bisexual students who find their campus to be welcoming tend to report greater levels of outness (Garvey et al., 2018). These studies point to a necessity to continuously disaggregate LGBTQ+ samples to fully understand students’ collegiate experiences.  Research also illuminates the necessity for campus climate research, as heterosexist discrimination and negative climate can adversely impact students’ mental and physical health (Woodford et al., 2015). Climate can also affect students’ social and academic success, as well as persistence (Garvey et al., 2015; Garvey et al., 2018; Pitcher et al., 2018). Further, scholars emphasized the need to explore the way climate varies among different spaces on campus (Hughes & Hurtado, 2018; Vaccaro, 2012; Woodford et  al., 2015). Although Fine (2011) found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual students generally described campus climate as positive, this was often relative to less supportive spaces like mainstream student organizations. Co-curricular Climate  Literature on LGBTQ+ student organizations and other campus programming is mixed. For instance, although some students find a sense of belonging in campus organizations (e.g., an engineering student organization), they may do so at the expense of their LGBT identities (Hughes, 2017). Relatedly, not all students felt comfortable disclosing their sexual identity or joining a campus LGBT organization, as was the case for African-American gay and bisexual men at historically Black colleges and universities (Patton, 2011). Further, LGBTQ+ students may find these organizations unwelcoming or not useful (Tillapaugh, 2015). Nevertheless, LGBTQ+ student organizations have the potential to offer much needed support (Pitcher et al., 2018). In

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fact, engagement with these organizations might matter less than their mere presence. One study found, “what mattered for university belonging was the mere presence of, and advertising about, the LGBT Center, programs, and organizations” (Vaccaro & Newman, 2017, p.  142). Students did not necessarily feel the need to access these resources, but they were comforted by their existence on campus because they knew support was available if needed. In the absence of these resources, however, students may seek alternative sources of support.  In a recent study of LGBTQ students with disabilities, Miller (2017) found online spaces offered validation that may have been lacking on-campus. Finally, it is worth noting that co-curricular activities or resources designed to support LGBTQ+ students are not always available (Nguyen et al., 2018), pointing to the potential for off-campus institutions to assist in meeting students’ unfulfilled needs. Classroom Climate  A smaller subset of literature explored classroom climate and how it is experienced by various members of the LGBTQ+ community. Much like the broader campus climate, classroom climate is particularly negative for trans students (Garvey & Rankin, 2015; Pryor, 2015). Pryor offered several reasons why this may be the case. First, many faculty are unaware of how best to support transgender students. Second, classrooms were often sites of harassment, bullying, and apathy from peers. Finally, classrooms were described as “normatively gendered environment[s]” (Pryor, 2015, p.  452). Additionally, we reviewed one article which specifically focused on classroom climate; the researchers found the perceived classroom climate among gender non-conforming students to be less inviting than for gender-conforming students, and climate was perceived more negatively among students who were more out on campus (Garvey & Rankin, 2015). It is unsurprising that classroom climate often mirrors that of the campus climate, however, given the strong relationship between the two (Garvey et al., 2018). This suggests that efforts to foster inclusive campus climates must devote attention to classroom experiences and comprehensive curricula that reflect LGBTQ+ identities and contributions. These efforts are critical, as the opportunity to engage in sexuality- and gender-affirming coursework can help students make meaning of these identities (Tillapaugh, 2015). Off-­


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Campus and Cultural Contexts  Off-campus involvement, particularly in religious communities, was meaningful (King, 2011; Means, 2017), suggesting the importance of off-campus organizations not specifically dedicated to LGBTQ+ identities. Of particular relevance to this chapter, Nicolazzo’s (2016) ethnographic study of transgender college students offered rich insights into the relationships between college students, the city in which the university is located, and the local LGBTQ+ community. Her work described how students sought kinship in the local community and the ways in which students encountered trans exclusion in the city’s primary LGBTQ+ organization. The politics of gentrification, class- and race-based stratification and the presence of genderism in off-­ campus organizations speak to the complexity of working with local communities in urban and urban-emerging environments.  The consideration of geography and urbanization is closely related to the prevalence of heterosexism and heteronormativity. Although systemic forms of oppression are ever-present, they are experienced differently across cultural and environmental contexts. As Tillapaugh (2015) noted, heterosexism and homophobia were particularly pronounced in rural locations, where a strong, local LGBTQ community was lacking. Goode-Cross and Tager (2011) discussed retention and persistence for gay and bisexual African-American male students at a predominantly White institution (PWI), noting the importance of on- and off-campus support. Although geography was not a focus of their study, the literature review did mention that gay and bisexual African-American men from middle-class urban areas may be less connected to the African-American sexual minority community (Washington & Wall as cited in Goode-­ Cross & Tager, 2011). As such, geography may limit opportunities for supportive relationships. Two additional articles noted the inattention to various geographic, regional, or cultural contexts was a limitation of the study (Alessi et  al., 2017; BrckaLorenz et  al., 2017). This observation gestures to the larger limitations of the literature reviewed above.

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Limitations Although the 80 articles reviewed made contributions to the higher education literature, they leave several questions unanswered. By focusing on campus interaction and engagement, and in limiting contextual considerations to campus climate perceptions, the authors did not consider how off-campus experiences inform LGBTQ+ identity development, belongingness, and student success. Further, while student organizations and LGBTQ+ centers, along with supportive interactions, can mitigate against the harmful effects of hostile climate, these organizations themselves can be limited, inaccessible, or exclusive (Marine & Nicolazzo, 2014; Pryor, 2018). Where, then, do LGBTQ+ students go to find community when campus contexts are unwelcoming? How might areas surrounding campus offer alternative sources of support or partner with universities to encourage proactive changes in campus services? Garvey and Rankin (2018) provided insights into these questions through their exploration of campus climate and urbanization for queer-­ spectrum and trans-spectrum faculty. The authors pointed out that little is known about how campus climate varies by level of urbanization; our review of the literature led us to a similar conclusion. Garvey and Rankin (2018) went on to suggest “more progressive spaces (i.e., city environments and Western states) protect faculty from socially conservative climates and offer more diversity” (p. 76). Additional research is needed to further explore how city environments might similarly protect LGBTQ+ students and to examine how urban and rural environments differentially structure inclusion/isolation and queer life. Although Garvey et al. (2017) found that geographic region did inform LGBTQ undergraduate student experiences, they focused on on-campus experiences and climate: “LGBTQ students who graduated from urban institutions had overall more positive campus experiences than did those who completed their undergraduate degree in a town or rural environment” (p. 814). Again, less is known about how students in these urban environments interact with the city that lies beyond their campus. Finally, few studies discussed how LGBTQ+ students engage with organizations in their institution’s surrounding communities. Westbrook


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(2009) briefly noted that despite the presence of on-campus LGBT campus resources, queer women at U.C. Berkeley opted instead to participate in LGBT organizations off-campus. However, it remains unclear what this off-campus engagement looked like, or how Berkeley’s urban setting affected the women’s experiences. This article was noteworthy, however, because it demonstrates that LGBTQ+ students may make more use of off-campus resources than higher education professionals realize. There may thus be untapped opportunity to partner with off-campus organizations.

 ecommendations for Connecting LGBTQ+ R Engagement to Urban and Urban-Emerging Settings In reviewing the scholarship on LGBTQ+ people in higher education, it is clear to see that scholars often are not exploring the influence that geographic areas (e.g., urban or rural) have on the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals. Yet, since researchers have generally not interrogated the impact that such environments can have on LGBTQ+ engagement, how student affairs practitioners and faculty perceive their responsibilities in connecting students to off-campus experiences is also affected. Of note, a cyclical relationship emerges where researchers do not examine the role of urban and urban-emerging settings and professionals do not feel responsible to facilitate these connections. To combat this issue, we spent time discussing the potential interventions that college campuses can implement to work within urban and urban-emerging settings to serve LGBTQ+ students. In this section, we cover four recommendations: assessing climates outside of the postsecondary context, connecting students to off-campus organizations, integrating settings into curricula, and offering structured programs designed to prepare LGBTQ+ students for post-college aspirations. If successfully orchestrated, these initiatives could bolster LGBTQ+ engagement, together with generating a reciprocal relationship between institutions and their surrounding environments.

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Assessing Climate Outside of the Institutional Context Highlighted in the body of scholarship on LGBTQ+ people is the fact that climates have a significant influence on how LGBTQ+ students engage with their broader community and persist in higher education (e.g., Garvey et  al., 2018; Pitcher et  al., 2018; Tetreault et  al., 2013). Though LGBTQ+ higher education research attends to various kinds of climates—broader campus climate, microclimates (Vaccaro, 2012), or classroom climates—these studies are confined to collegiate environments. Yet, as studies such as Duran’s (2021) show, surrounding campus environments can have an impact on how LGBTQ+ students (in the case of his study, queer students of color) navigate and engage on campus. Consequently, we assert that institutional agents can better target LGBTQ+ engagement by understanding the climate present in the larger urban and urban-emerging setting where institutions are located. The reason why climate studies are important is that they allow administrators to comprehend how LGBTQ+ students perceive their environments, how people perceive LGBTQ+ individuals, together with assessing the state of policies/services designed for LGBTQ+ communities (Renn, 2010). Broadening the focus of climate assessments to include urban and urban-emerging settings will offer professionals the chance to use this information to better the experiences of LGBTQ+ students within their institutions. On the one hand, this knowledge can provide insight into the types of discrimination occurring in surrounding environments and its potential impact on how connected LGBTQ+ students feel to the institution. On the other hand, climate research that includes views on urban and urban-emerging settings can also measure services and types of LGBTQ+ communities available to LGBTQ+ collegians that may or may not already be present on campus. Equipped with this information, higher education professionals could better plan collaborative programming and resource-sharing for the issues facing LGBTQ+ college students (e.g., alcohol/drug addiction, sexual assault, sexually transmitted diseases, and mental health) that may be heightened in urban and urban-­ emerging settings.


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To implement this recommendation, colleges and universities can coordinate a standalone climate study focused on their urban and urban-­ emerging settings or integrate sets of quantitative and qualitative questions into existing climate studies. What is imperative, however, is that higher education institutions partner with the town/city to generate these questions or to analyze the data. Such collaborations can lead to better relationships and also benefit the town/city as they also plan to support LGBTQ+ individuals and students.

 onnections to Off-Campus Organizations C and Communities Beyond simply collecting data about urban and urban-emerging climates, student affairs professionals should make a concerted effort to help LGBTQ+ students get involved with off-campus organizations. As mentioned previously, LGBTQ+ engagement is typically associated with LGBTQ+ campus involvement. However, this approach is a potentially dangerous one. In obscuring the role of contextual influences outside of the collegiate space, institutional agents may be overlooking the positive impact that engaging off campus can have on student outcomes (e.g., leadership development; Priest & Clegorne, 2015). Additionally, the necessity to connect students to off-campus organizations is amplified given studies showing that individuals within the LGBTQ+ community may not see on-campus organizations as spaces where they belong (e.g., Nicolazzo, 2016; Jourian, 2017; Tillapaugh, 2015). Consequently, college campuses should invest the time and energy into finding organizations specific to LGBTQ+ issues and advocacy that exist in the area of their institution. What is beneficial about urban and urban-emerging settings is that these geographic regions are likely to have more concentrated resources for this population. Locating this information and developing this into a list accessible to students may mitigate the labor that LGBTQ+ college students typically put into searching for these organizations themselves. Beyond simply identifying these services in the region, it would behoove practitioners to develop stronger partnerships with these off-campus spaces, as well.

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One major worry that could result from connecting students to off-­ campus organizations is that this might lead to decreased funding for campus initiatives. Still, intentional partnerships with off-campus organizations do not drive a schism between the collegiate environment and its surrounding community but rather cultivate a symbiotic relationship between the two. For example, student affairs offices and student organizations should consider inviting off-campus organizations (e.g., LGBTQ+ support groups, advocacy organizations, or those that focus on issues relevant to the LGBTQ+ community) to run programs or informational sessions at their institutions. Additionally, higher education professionals could also plan events (or encourage clubs) to take students to local meetings, community organizing, or LGBTQ+ events. In doing so, membership in these LGBTQ+-centric organizations could rise and campuses could learn more about why LGBTQ+ students have historically benefited from these spaces.

 ridging Urban and Urban-Emerging Settings B with the Curricula Similar to the recommendations specific to student affairs practitioners, we also assert that faculty could accomplish similar aims. Research exists highlighting that faculty and student interactions are predictive of academic success, including for LGBTQ+ collegians (BrckaLorenz et  al., 2017; Garvey et al., 2018). Yet, similar bodies of scholarship showcase how these students may encounter college curricula that erase the realities faced by LGBTQ+ individuals (Linley & Nguyen, 2015). Therefore, there are prime opportunities for faculty across different disciplines to bring the urban and urban-emerging settings into the classroom. For example, those in the humanities and social sciences can create classes about the presence of LGBTQ+ individuals in the surrounding city, showcasing how they have contributed to the urban environment. Classes such as these could incorporate experiential learning to them to make them more interactive and engaging. Additionally, faculty in the STEM disciplines could work with local companies to teach students what it means to be an individual who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+


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community in a particular field. These experiences could serve as a form of professional socialization while also bringing light to the relevance of social identities in fields that are oftentimes considered identity-neutral (Linley & Nguyen, 2015). Importantly, changes such as these could drastically alter how LGBTQ+ students see their identities represented in curricula, which in turn could have effects on their engagement. Another way to integrate the urban and urban-emerging setting into curricula for LGBTQ+ students is through serving-learning courses. Service-learning classes, those that combine the value of service to solve real life problems with a structured curricular experience, could be particularly beneficial within urban and urban-emerging environments. This is because many of the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community are present within these areas. Therefore, academic departments could work to develop classes that focus on LGBTQ+ issues, allowing students the chance to serve alongside local non-profit and community-based organizations. These types of opportunities both give back to the community and allow students to tackle issues facing LGBTQ+ populations in and outside of college campuses.

Preparation for Post-college Aspirations Finally, another way that institutions could leverage urban and urban-­ emerging settings relates to LGBTQ+ students’ post-collegiate aspirations. Matters of LGBTQ+ engagement and student success ultimately are intended to help collegians gain skills to thrive after their time in college. For this reason, scholars have investigated what factors contribute to career development and decision-making for LGBTQ+ students (e.g., Harris, 2014; Russon & Schmidt, 2014; Schmidt et  al., 2011). From this body of research, one consistent thread is that the presence of support for these individuals and the ability to understand what it means to identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community in the workforce are crucial to vocational development. As a result, colleges and universities in urban and urban-emerging settings containing growing industries could make more intentional moves to engage local resources to prepare students post-graduation. In addition

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to inviting company leaders, a suggestion offered above, higher education career centers, LGBTQ+ centers, or LGBTQ+ student organizations could develop mentorship programs designed to give LGBTQ+ collegians possibility models in the fields they hope to enter. By pairing a working professional with a current student, institutions could increase LGBTQ+ collegians’ efficacy and knowledge about negotiating their career aspirations. Moreover, these programs could benefit employers in creating pools of qualified candidates that will also challenge these companies to consider how they are effectively recruiting and retaining LGBTQ+ individuals.

Conclusion One of the central assumptions existing on college campuses is that professionals at higher education institutions solely have control over LGBTQ+ student engagement relative to the collegiate environment. However, as discussed throughout this chapter, student affairs practitioners and faculty should challenge this idea, especially within urban and urban-emerging settings. Namely, this manuscript adds to the limited amount of scholarship on the effects that these urban and urban-­emerging environments can have on the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals at postsecondary institutions (Garvey et al., 2017; Garvey & Rankin, 2018). By implementing the recommendations offered above, institutional agents are better equipped to serve and work with LGBTQ+ students in holistic ways. Knowing that college campuses may not always be the place that these collegians turn to for support, especially given the legacies of overlapping systems of oppression (e.g., heterosexism, trans oppression, racism, and ableism) present in higher education, professionals can instead leverage off-campus resources and services in urban and urban-emerging settings. Whether it is connecting students to off-­campus organizations or preparing them for post-college aspirations, urban and urban-emerging environments have a great deal to offer LGBTQ+ college students. It is only when higher education institutions make an intentional effort to integrate urban and urban-emerging settings that colleges


A. Duran and K. Prieto

and universities will be positioned to truly bolster LGBTQ+ student engagement, which in turn leads to their educational success.

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7 An Inside Voice Fighting for the “Outsiders”: Student Engagement, Purpose, and Legacy on Boards of Higher Education Raquel M. Rall and Carlos A. Galan

College is a place where young people discover and reinvent themselves, where the norms that guide our thinking and govern behavior are set and challenged. What starts on campuses migrates out into the larger culture. That makes universities an incubator for nascent social movements and a barometer that can measure where our country is headed. —Jennifer Eberhardt (2019), Biased, p. 229

Introduction Jennifer Eberhardt (2019) asserts that “college is a place where young people discover and reinvent themselves, where the norms that guide our thinking and govern behavior are set and challenged.” Elaborating on these words, Eberhardt also notes that “what starts on campuses migrates out into the larger culture. That makes universities an incubator for R. M. Rall (*) • C. A. Galan University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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nascent social movements and a barometer that can measure where our country is headed” (p.  229). Echoing Eberhardt’s remarks, a growing number of scholars argue that higher education needs to prepare students to contribute to a democratic society and work toward social justice within local, national, and global contexts (Pasque et  al., 2006). Scholarship documents the important role that co-curricular collegiate experiences, such as involvement in campus organizations, student government, and community volunteerism, play in fostering leadership skills and civic engagement (Astin et  al., 1999; Astin et  al., 2000; Baxter Magolda, 1992; Cress et  al., 2001; Jacoby, 2009; Kuh, 1995; Lozano, 2019; The National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, 2012; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Sax, 2004). Student service on higher education governing boards, though sparsely researched, is another avenue through which students can develop skills related to leadership, civic engagement, and community involvement (Rall et al., 2021). The ways in which students have been involved with many higher education boards reflect a type of engagement distinct from the average student leader on campus (Elfreth, 2011; Statham, 2011). Involvement in the trusteeship, in many cases, has been shown to mobilize students to participate in leadership roles and community engagement aimed at highlighting, confronting, reducing, and eventually eliminating social inequities based on race, socioeconomic status, gender, immigration status, religion, and other social and identity markers (Farago et al., 2018). As mentioned in the introductory chapter of this book, student trustee experiences, like all higher education experiences, are shaped by the legacies of inclusion and exclusion. In this book chapter, we discuss how student trustees1 navigate the juxtaposition of an exclusionary past and representation on one of the most powerful decision-making bodies within higher education. In doing so, we highlight how student trustees exert their roles as vested citizens involved in activism, advocacy, and community engagement. This chapter starts with a brief history of student leadership engagement in higher education. We consider how student trustee activism is born out of  We use “trustees” in this chapter to be representative of other terms for board members such as regents, governors, visitors, curators, and so on. 1

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current events both within and outside of the academy. We focus on how various movements in the twenty-first century have emerged to counteract the marginalization of different underserved communities in the United States (Hope et al., 2016) and deliberately center issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Examples of this connection between activism within higher education and diverse communities include, but are not limited to, the following: students risking deportation to raise awareness of immigration-related issues in the larger national context (Chen & Rhoads, 2016), students engaging in hunger strikes to advocate on behalf of custodial workers (Svrluga, 2015), and advocating for the creation of Middle Eastern students centers amid Islamophobia in the United States (French, 2013). We then move to illustrate how students’ roles on boards impact engagement in and activism for issues affecting their campus community and the local community. We highlight the intentional way in which these students approach the trusteeship and work within the system to challenge dominant bureaucracies and create student-centered university service programs during times of need. During their terms, the student trustees we interviewed demonstrated deliberate change agency whenever addressing topics such as food insecurity, undocumented status, the environment, antisemitism, and more. Findings reveal that involvement with the board was an avenue for students to champion causes that maximized their engagement with communities outside academia. We conclude with a discussion of areas in need of future inquiry.

Student Involvement in Higher Education Student Engagement Ehrlich (2000) defines civic engagement as a political and non-political process in which individuals strive to improve the quality of life within a particular community. Civic engagement expands beyond civic behaviors such as service and political activities (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2010). Civic engagement also includes a commitment to and valuation of social action, social justice orientation, leadership


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skills, perspective-taking, and intercultural knowledge and understanding. We subscribe to these definitions of civic engagement and associate student activism as a domain of student civic engagement. Like student civic engagement, student activism is rooted in improving the living conditions of a particular community and is social action and social justice-­ oriented (Altbach, 1989; Rhoads, 1994, 1997b, 1998). Since their inception in the United States, colleges and universities have played a dynamic role in the development of thoughtful and well-­ educated individuals who engage, protect, and advance our country’s democratic values (Barnhardt et al., 2015; Farago et al., 2018; Newman, 1985; Pascarella et al., 1988; Prentice, 2011; Rudolph, 1990; Sax, 2000, 2004; Trolian & Barnhardt, 2017). For example, as part of the holistic review during the college application process, it is not uncommon for colleges and universities to inquire about students’ extracurricular activities and community involvement. Once students are admitted, regardless of their academic rankings, postsecondary institutions continue to foster students’ civic engagement through volunteer days, service-learning classes, study abroad programs, and capstone experiences. Colleges have been successful in fostering community engagement through service activities. These activities are proven to have benefits for student development. The literature on student engagement in extracurricular activities highlights its positive influence on academic outcomes (Astin et  al., 2000; Astin et  al., 1999; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, 2005). Researchers also have documented how student involvement in extracurricular activities has positive impacts on students’ civic involvement (Denson et  al., 2005; Levesque-Bristol et  al., 2011; Misa et  al., 2005; Moely et al., 2002; Myers-Lipton, 1998; Simons & Cleary, 2006; Stewart, 2008). In an annual survey of first-year students, the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) reported that 63% of first-year college students described performing volunteer work “occasionally” or “frequently” (2013). Most recently, researchers at HERI shared that 27% of students who intended to perform volunteer work during their summer break admitted to being influenced by their college or university. According to these students, their institutions empowered them to better understand problems within their communities and honed their desires to volunteer and make a difference in addressing these problems (Bates &

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Bourke, 2016). Student engagement in and volunteerism with on-­ campus organizations, in essence, nurtures student leadership and community involvement off campus (Markus et al., 1993). Student volunteerism allows students to become social change agents (Rhoads, 1997a). When students perform community service activities, students are not only committing to helping those in need but also, they are committing to improving the racial and political climate while participating in  local and global community action programs with social justice-oriented goals (Forenza et al., 2017; Ginwright & James, 2002; Revilla, 2004). Accordingly, scholars such as Levine and Hirsch (1991) argue that periods of student unrest have been preceded by a rise in student volunteerism and civic engagement. Student engagement opens the gate for students to become involved in activism, which in return enables students to become active playmakers in social and political discourses, with the hope of finding solutions to societal problems. In the text that ensues, we explore how different instances of student activism throughout the years are connected to broader social justice issues.

Student Activism and Social Change In this section, we provide a brief history of student activism in the United States to highlight how instances of student activism have been pivotal in the protection and advancement of the rights of and justice for marginalized communities. We conclude this section by highlighting how current student activism is still tied to social and political movements, yet is often led by structural educational leaders: the student trustees. Altbach (1989) refers to student activism as students’ conscious efforts to bring about change within and outside the realms of academic institutions. From this perspective, college student activism helps shape young leaders while making college campuses more inclusive and responsive to societal pressures. In doing so, student activism in higher education contributes to the betterment of college campuses and the progress of society (Hoffman & Mitchell, 2016). Fueled by a broad range of social, political, and economic issues, student activists engage in protests,


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demonstrations, and rallies to bring about change and social justice (Altbach, 1989; Biddix et  al., 2009; DeAngelo et  al., 2016; Kezar & Maxey, 2014; Klar & Kasser, 2009; Ollis, 2010; Rhoads, 2016; Tsui, 2000).

Early Student Activism Although much of the literature on student activism highlights the 1960s as one of the most active periods in the history of student activism in the United States (US), student activism neither started nor ended during this time. Chambers and Phelps (1993) report that the first demonstration of student activism occurred as early as 1776 when a group of students at Harvard protested the quality of butter served in the dining halls. During the 1930s, students began to organize into large groups as they became interested in more substantive issues such as national politics (Altbach, 1974). The 1930s also saw student activism centered on World War II (Altbach & Peterson, 1971). As World War II intensified, student activists “criticized the racial discrimination of the North and the Jim Crow system of the South” (Cohen, 1993, p. 205). Though student activism in the 1930s did not prevent the United States from entering World War II or end discrimination and unfair treatment of African Americans in the US, it marked the extension of student engagement with public affairs beyond college campuses.

 tudent Activism in the 1960s: Student Activists S as Social Agents The student activism that began in the 1930s was reborn in the 1960s (Altbach & Cohen, 1990). Many of the young protesters during the 1960s, as explained by Chambers and Phelps (1994), “were the children of those who had been activists in the thirties” (p. 22). This new generation of student activists once again engaged in and responded to national and international events that seemed to attack the core democratic principles of American society. Students responded to and identified with

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messages of political figures such as John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. College students denounced discrimination against African Americans and US involvement in the war in Vietnam (Chambers & Phelps, 1994). By 1969, 28% of the college population had participated in a demonstration of some kind during their college years (Levine, 1980); the number increased to 50% by the spring of 1970 (Lipset, 1976). Since the 1960s, college student activism has proven to be essential for social and political change. For example, during the 1960s and 1970s, University of California (UC) Berkeley was home to a student-led political movement that denounced racial inequality and foreign policy. Continuous protests at UC Berkeley and other college campuses influenced the United States’ withdrawal from the Vietnam War. In the years that followed, student activists continued to condemn US foreign policy in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and South Africa (Altbach & Cohen, 1990; Broadhurst, 2014). These students succeeded in fighting to improve the treatment and living conditions of African Americans and women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the US (Altbach, 1979; Broadhurst, 2014). A myriad of social turmoil marked student activism during the 1960s; students rallied around issues affecting college campuses and the larger society.

 tudent Activism in the 1970s and 1980s: Changing S Strategies in Public Affairs The 1970s and 1980s saw an increase in both student participation and structural student activism. Students became active in their university’s decision-making processes (Altbach, 1989). For example, student lobbies emerged in many states and at the national level. These student-led lobbies were concerned with protecting students’ interests by advocating for student loan forgiveness programs, opposing tuition increases, and arguing against restrictions on students’ rights (Altbach & Cohen, 1990). Parallel to student-led lobbies was the rise of Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), which centered student concerns for social issues that affected their own lives. In essence, “PIRGs were not generally involved


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in activist demonstrations but rather worked with government officials, provided educational materials, and tried to raise public consciousness about their concerns” (Altbach & Cohen, 1990, p. 37). Student-led lobbying organizations and interest groups continued to advocate for student priorities while advocating for larger societal concerns such as foreign policy.

 tudent Activism in the 1990s: Refining Organizations S and Building Alliances to Protect and Advance Individual Rights Student activists in the 1990s sought to protect aspects of individuals’ identities such as sexuality, ethnicity, and legal status (Rhoads, 1997a). Students worked across racial and ethnic lines to advance equity and democracy for marginalized communities within higher education and across society. Students organized and formed coalitions as they took on college and state legislators to advocate for individual rights. Activism across various campuses reflected students’ commitment to protecting women’s and LGBTQ rights, affirmative action and immigration, and defying the disinvestment in Native American education (Rhoads, 1997b). The 1990s style activism, coupled with that of the 1960s and 1970s, defines today’s student trustees’ activism. These two eras of activism were the prologue to the role, action, and impact of the student trustee.

Student Activism Today Modern student activism has taken a different shape from the radical form of expression of student activism in the 1960s (Hamilton, 2003; Levine & Cureton, 1998). Still, student activism is increasingly tied to social and racial justice issues (Stokes & Miller, 2019); it is often a reflection of the events happening across the country. Student activist groups provide a direct line of communication between universities and their surrounding communities. Today, it is not surprising to see student

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organizations rallying around issues affecting the most vulnerable members of their community and our society at large. For example, in 2015, a group of students at Tufts refused to eat for more than 120 hours as they protested the university’s decision to lay off 20 janitors (Svrluga, 2015). In light of current immigration policies, students at Johns Hopkins condemned their university’s business partnership with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Tired of police brutality, thousands of students across the country continue to rally behind the #BlackLivesMatter movement. College students seem resolute in their demand for more accountability against sexual assault in the #MeToo era. Most recently, with the emergence of new mass shootings in the United States, students pressure their local and federal legislators through the #NeverAgain movement to advocate for stricter gun control. Students participate in many on-campus, student-led organizations as they become increasingly more involved in advocating for marginalized communities on and off-campus. One prime example of this and our chapter’s focus is that students have secured a role in university governance and decision making. We now turn our attention to student participation in higher education governance. Namely, we explore the role student trustees play in activism, advocacy, and community engagement within higher education. In doing so, we highlight how these individuals approach the trusteeship and work within the system to challenge dominant policies, procedures, and practices that exclude traditionally marginalized populations.

 he Role of Student Trustees in Higher T Education Today: Activists to Advocates While literature highlights the desire to empower student leaders, little is known about how students are affected by participation in university governance (Kaba, 2001). Further, we have little sense of the influence that these students have on decision making at high levels of academic leadership or vice versa. As evidenced by the preceding literature, students have an established legacy of questioning and challenging higher


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education structures (Menon, 2003). Not only did student protests in the US during the 1960s and 1970s incite change in society, but also, they facilitated the move to greater student representation in decision making on campus (Altbach, 2006; Luescher-Mamashela, 2013). Berkeley, the University of California system’s flagship, was one of the leading sites of protest against institutional structures to establish student power and influence on campus (Lozano, 2019). Before this movement, students did not have formal roles on governing boards (Lozano, 2019); this resistance both nationally and locally juxtaposed with political movements (e.g., the passage of the 26th amendment establishing voting age) created a seat at the governance table for many students in higher education (Birnbaum & D’Heilly, 1971). Student trustee positions on the board gradually became available across the nation but were concentrated in public institutions post-1970 (Randall, 1985). The present chilly climate in higher education for students deemed as “other”—for example, disabled students (Yssel et al., 2016; Vaccaro et al., 2019), female students (Walton et al., 2015), LGBTQ students (Garvey et al., 2015), undocumented students (Gámez et al., 2017), racial/ethnic minorities (Quaye et al., 2015)—is reminiscent of the climate that led to the genesis of the student trusteeship in California. The student’s presence on governing boards dates back to 1975, when the first UC student trustee, Carol Mock, from UC Santa Barbara, took office. Reflecting on the genesis of the student board member position, Mock reminisced: In 1975, we were coming out of a period of enormous conflict between the students and the university. There were frequent demonstrations on campus…about a lot of fairly contentious issues. (The position of student [trustee]) was a way of trying to institutionalize legitimate channels for student input to the board. Nobody knew how this was going to work out. There was not much precedent for it. The slate was really blank. A friend of mine, who was an activist, said to me, ‘You know, this is not a revolution,’ and I said, ‘No—it’s what comes after the revolution.’ (Chinoy, 2015)

Later, Mock’s successors would demonstrate the reverberation of this revolution throughout the student regency. No one might have imagined the intentionality and persistence required for student trustees to “give

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new direction and perspective on subjects with which [s/he] is particularly familiar” as put forth by the president of the student body’s presidents’ council, Larry Miles, back in the early 1970s. Despite the challenges they face in their role (Rall & Maxey, 2020), these student trustees manage to stimulate change on higher education boards, on campuses, in the community at large, and for themselves.

 ur Study, the Legacy of Student Activism O in the Trusteeship In congruence with prior work such as Farago et al. (2018), our interviews with students who served terms on the board of trustees demonstrated how student service as board members impacted their experiences, professional development, community development, and activism. We interviewed these students after their terms on the board in order to spur reflection without the strain of being in the thick of the role, yet while they still retained their institutional memory of the trusteeship (Peabody et  al., 1990). We anonymized every name and focused on trustees in California since the state has been a leader in issues pertaining to equity, diversity, and inclusion and has a strong legacy of student involvement. Most importantly, we focused on the student voices and perspectives of how they viewed their roles as students on the board. The excerpts we share here are part of a larger study (Rall et al., 2021). The purpose of the larger study was to understand how student board members craft individual meanings of their roles as trustees while also distinguishing their struggles and triumphs in this position. We focused on highlighting the knowledge and insights our participants offered to aspiring student board members. As one student trustee elucidated, “...our advocacy as student leaders is most impactful when we can meaningfully and authentically integrate the voices of individuals who are directly impacted by policy decisions into the discourse. Personal narratives have and will continue to play a major role in shaping public policy.” Trustee Brock summed up this point via the following, “The student [trustee] position has never been about


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the person, but about the issues, and the people it represents. It is truly a platform shared by all, and the student in that position needs to recognize that, make room for others, and give others the platform to own their issues and campaigns.” Student trustees (as explained by Trustee Lucia) understand that their position is an opportunity to advocate for social change and have a pulse on the major issues affecting college campuses. More than recognizing and supporting change, the role was a conduit to actually implement and initiate real dialogue, awareness, and transformation. Echoing Trustee Brock, Trustee Lucia asserts that “the student [trustee] position is an opportunity to create meaningful change by advocating for those who often get left out of the conversation during the decision-making process, especially those who live at the margins and rarely have a seat at the decision-making table.” Similar to Trustee Lucia, Trustee Akari speaks about the intentionality of fighting for others as a student trustee. Trustee Akari’s advice to become an agent of change was “to visit as many campuses as you can and spend time listening to a diversity of student perspectives to get a fuller sense of the experience of students on that campus.” Trustee Akari also attempted to “make an effort to reach to students who are not plugged into advocacy streams” and “to arrange individual meetings with other members of the board as often as he could to build alliances and discuss students’ concerns.” Trustee Lucia and Trustee Akari understand the power of the student trustee position. They both see themselves as the institutional agents described by Stanton-­ Salazar (2011), with a duty to promote social change for marginalized communities in higher education. They recognized they needed to be intentional in their advocacy efforts. They seemed aware of their ability to influence institutional policies and practices to center populations who often do not have a voice in pertinent institutional decision making while also forming alliances with other institutional agents on the board of trustees.

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Creating Measurable and Immediate Impact Programs The intentionality modeled by Trustees Akari and Lucia can influence structural policies and practices and improve the living conditions of marginalized communities in higher education. While society struggles to find answers to complicated challenges ranging from housing and food insecurity to mental health and sexual harassment, when one looks at student trustees’ work, one can observe their political and practical savviness to recognize and address these pressing challenges in higher education. A scan of news articles demonstrates that student trustees continue to use their student activism as a means to better the living conditions for racially minoritized students and communities in higher education. For example, one former trustee advocated for religious tolerance through her successful initiatives to create a Middle Eastern Student Center amid instances of Islamophobia on college campuses. Another negotiated with the state government to increase its budget allocations in order to address mental health issues among graduate students. Other trustees used their positionality to improve food security and basic needs for all students by creating campus food banks. Still, another was champion for undocumented students and advocated for the creation of undocumented student resource centers. Another student trustee was at the forefront of the conversation regarding affordable housing. The student role on the board has implicitly and explicitly woven a focus on students into pivotal decision making at the highest levels of the university. The importance of students, however, has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. News articles in higher education show students’ struggles to meet basic needs such as food, housing, and internet access. Additionally, access to mental and general health care services has proven to be critical as students attempt to manage the stress caused by social distancing isolation and remote learning. More than ever, the student body has benefited from the student trustees’ advocacy to create and extend food pantries, mental health services, and cultural centers. Committees on basic needs chaired by student trustees were of significant importance as higher education attempted to become more proactive in meeting students’ needs as COVID-19 worsened.


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In small committees and larger trustee meetings, students prompt institutions to respond to political, social, and environmental issues. For example, Trustee Zarpas advocated for the inclusion of technology under the definition of basic needs. In doing so, Trustee Zarpas responded to students’ dire need under the veil of COVID-19 for access to reliable electronic devices and wifi. Students have often had to overcome the challenges of unstable hotspots and use university parking lots to access the internet and attend classes in times of distance learning. Akin to Trustee Zarpas, other student trustees voice their concerns on affordable tuition, access to higher education, diversity and inclusion, food and housing insecurity, and the establishment of standards to prevent and deal with issues of sexual assault. Each of these issues carries implications for the most marginalized populations on campus and beyond. Further, advancements made for these groups on campus necessarily influence outcomes for these groups in broader society.

Structural Recognition of Student Trustees The work of student trustees is essential to keep the university at the forefront of social issues affecting our greater society. Boards often recognize the student trustee’s leadership and effectiveness in tackling complex issues that extend beyond higher education. However, based on our conversations with them, student trustees do not engage in the trusteeship for recognition. They assume the trusteeship to create change. When we spoke to former student trustees about their contributions to the board, they felt honored to have had an opportunity to represent and speak for a population that seldom “gets a seat at the table” and took this role seriously. Trustee Travon shared: ...I came out feeling like some of the decisions that I participated in, some of the ideas that I put forward, had made an actual difference…I felt like it gave me an opportunity to make a real contribution and a real impact on topics affecting different populations that I genuinely care about. The trusteeship gave me an opportunity to represent and advocate on behalf of a lot of people who otherwise might not have a voice at that level.

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In Trustee Travon’s quote, we can see student trustees’ resiliency and willingness to advocate for marginalized communities. Interestingly, Trustee Travon’s statement, and other student trustees who echoed similar sentiments, is that these students often feel like they are on the inside of the system fighting to elevate voices and perspectives from people on the outside. As they assume the trusteeship, student trustees find themselves in the thick of policymaking, but they never separate from the issues affecting people at the margins of their decisions. They fortify their political efficacy—believing that they have the knowledge, skills, and position to understand and influence community change through intentional action (Beaumont, 2010). Student trustees rely on the experiences of marginalized communities to create and impact policy—but not just the experiences of other students and other stakeholders. These students bring their personal experiences, backgrounds, and marginalized demographic identifiers such as being a person of color, female, first-generation, LGBTQ, or any intersection of these and couple these identities with the concerns, needs, and circumstances of the students at the institution(s) they serve in order to make sure their work is grounded in the most pressing issues of the day (Rall et  al., 2021). Only in this manner can student trustees initiate action, strategize policies, and address challenges affecting higher education and beyond. When these students assume meaningful roles in board processes and fully immerse themselves in their boards’ decision-making networks, valuable governance, and policy changes are feasible (Birnbaum & D’Heilly, 1971). The perspectives of student trustees and their distinct and influential roles on their boards explored here give a better sense of their higher education governance involvement. The student trustee position, often one year as the student trustee and one year as a student trustee-designate, is required by the California Constitution. What is not guaranteed is the influence these student trustees choose to assert during their terms. The aspiration and efforts of these individuals to create change within and between spaces routinely unoccupied and unaffected by non-traditional populations are also required—not by any document or law though, but by the internal and collective efforts and desires of student trustees determined to influence better conditions for the individuals attending higher


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education institutions in California and those that lived in the communities surrounding these campuses. The stories told by these student trustees stand in opposition to common thoughts of the role of students on higher education governing boards. The Association of Governing Boards (AGB) has been consistent in its assumption that “student trustees are inevitably less sophisticated and experienced with management issues and require special orientation and mentoring before they can be effective” (AGB, n.d.). Further, while early skepticism of the student trusteeship questioned whether the student trustee position “was of value to the board as well as to the students” (as taken from the words of the first-ever student trustee in the UC), the data outlined here demonstrate that student trustees have played a pivotal role in addressing vital issues and in implementing new policies within the system and find a way to make a meaningful impact even when their term lengths pale in comparison to their layperson counterparts. Student trustees do not underestimate their roles (Birnbaum & D’Heilly, 1971). The trustees interviewed indicate that they continuously consider their values and the multiple roles they play in influencing action in higher education (Jacoby, 2009). When aligned with policy discourses, board work may help actors achieve both institutional and state priorities (Morgan et al., 2020). This impact is anything but straightforward; being a student member of the board is often demanding and frustrating (Rall & Maxey, 2020), but it can also be a distinctive and rewarding experience (Fernandez, 2016). Grounded in historical precedent, student trustees are resolute in their quest to effect positive change for the future within the board and within the UC system as a whole.

Conclusion Almost 50 years ago, Birnbaum and D’Heilly (1971) found that students on the board did not feel that their decisions made any meaningful impact on policy and governance. The voices here clearly demonstrate that student trustees have played a pivotal role in addressing vital issues and implementing new policies within the system, and finding a way to make a meaningful impact even when their term lengths pale in

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comparison to their layperson counterparts. Newcomers can join an elite group of decision makers and change the power dynamics (Lindsay, 2008); the student trustees we interviewed demonstrate that these changes can be in the best interests of the many. The student  trustees highlighted in this study that they made a difference and played an integral role in improving conditions for marginalized groups within higher education in California. They provided a direct line of communication between universities and their surrounding communities. Student trustees built upon the student activist foundation to establish themselves on the activist/advocate spectrum; they move along that spectrum as needed to address the issues of the day. Compared to past cohorts, college students demonstrate a stronger inclination toward activism with no signs of slowing down (Eagan et al., 2015). These students express that becoming a community leader is an important life objective (Eagan et  al., 2015). The student trustee role offers an opportunity to serve in that capacity. Boards serve as critical driving forces in society, and their performance influences how institutions will respond to external and internal pressures to meet increasing demands and expectations (Rall et  al., 2018). Further, boards play an integral role in advancing equity goals in higher education (Rall et al., 2020). As Eberhardt (2019) put forth in her book that we quoted at the beginning of this chapter, these student trustees, informed by their experiences and opportunities on boards, decided who they wanted to be and the impact they wanted to have. They cultivated the prime decision-­ making opportunity to make a difference for their campus communities and their local communities; to capture the influential and integral role that students play on the board and in the community, we end with the words of Trustee Ozuna, who described her role and the role she felt other student trustees had a duty to fulfill: “Individual change agents, activists, community organizers, agitators at every level, and coordinated disruptive discourse make change inevitable, and I want to be a part of that [change]. I am a part of that [change].”


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equity and inclusion. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 9(3), 277. Hope, E. C., Keels, M., & Durkee, M. I. (2016). Participation in Black Lives Matter and deferred action for childhood arrivals: Modern activism among Black and Latino college students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 9(3), 203. Jacoby, B. (2009). Facing the unsettled questions about service-learning. In J. Strait & M. Lima (Eds.), The future of service-learning: New solutions for sustaining and improving practice (pp. 90–105). Stylus. Kaba, M. (2001). They listen to me...but they don’t act on it: Contradictory consciousness and student participation in decision-making. The High School Journal, 84(2), 21–34. Kezar, A., & Maxey, D. (2014). Collective action on campus toward student development and democratic engagement. New Directions for Higher Education, 2014(167), 31–41. Klar, M., & Kasser, T. (2009). Some benefits of being an activist: Measuring activism and its role in psychological well-being. Political Psychology, 30(5), 755–777.­9221.2009.00724.x Kuh, G. D. (1995). The other curriculum: Out-of-class experiences associated with student learning and personal development. The Journal of Higher Education, 66(2), 123–155. 6.1995.11774770 Levesque-Bristol, C., Knapp, T., & Fisher, B. (2011). The effectiveness of service-­learning: It’s not always what you think. The Journal of Experimental Education, 33(3), 208–224. Levine, A. (1980). When dreams and heroes died. A portrait of today’s college student. Jossey-Bass. Levine, A., & Cureton, J. S. (1998). When hope and fear collide: A portrait of today’s college student. Jossey-Bass. Levine, A., & Hirsch, D. (1991). Undergraduates in transition: A new wave of activism on American college campus. Higher Education, 22(2), 119–128. Lindsay, D. M. (2008). Evangelicals in the power elite: Elite cohesion advancing a movement. American Sociological Review, 73(1), 60–82. https://doi. org/10.1177/000312240807300104 Lipset, S. (1976). Rebellion in the university. University of Chicago Press. Lozano, J. (2019). Bridging the divide: Exploring the connections between student governments and higher education governing boards. Studies in Higher Education, 1–14.


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8 Investigating the Community in Community Colleges: The Role of Context for Undocumented College Students David A. Caicedo

Community Colleges Claims are often made regarding the rights, responsibilities, and privileges that immigrants should and should not be entitled to within the public debate on immigration reform in the United States  (US). Consequently, much of the public and political discourse on the topic of immigration has focused on the extent to which immigrants are able to integrate themselves into the larger US society (Casas & Ryan, 2010). One potential social and psychological area of cultural integration and socialization, particularly for youth, is the educational space. Community colleges are the fastest growing US institutions of higher education for immigrant students (Mullin, 2011). Given their greater accessibility (i.e., open admissions, lower tuition rates, and flexible class

D. A. Caicedo (*) Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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schedules for adults in the workforce and/or those with family responsibilities, etc.), community colleges are more likely than their four-year counterparts to reflect a higher student enrollment of minorities, to have those students identify from low-income backgrounds, as well as from the first generation in families to receive higher education degrees (Batalova et  al., 2013; Dozier, 1995; Jauregui et  al., 2008; Perlstein, 2011; Teranishi et al., 2011; Terriquez, 2015; Valenzuela et al., 2015). Nationwide, in 2003–04, roughly 25% of the 6.5 million degree-seeking community college students were immigrants, and in the City University of New York (CUNY) system alone, a report on the entering freshman class revealed that 60% of foreign-born students began their higher education in community colleges (Teranishi et al., 2011). The community college clearly represents a niche for minority and immigrant youth. It is not surprising to note that undocumented young people are a relatively high percentage of students at public universities and colleges (13% and closer to 20% in the New York City regional area), and nearly 80% of all undocumented students were enrolled in community colleges (Garza, 2006). However, not all community colleges are situated equally. The context of reception, specifically the political orientation of the community surrounding the college, may play a role in the resources available for students with special legal needs. More politically and fiscally conservative landscapes may be less likely to symbolically support undocumented students, compared to more liberal milieus. Scholars have noted how implicit rules involving schooling both reflect and shape inclusion and exclusion in/from society (Gonzales, 2010; Lareau, 2011; Patel, 2013; Valenzuela et al., 2015). The context of reception as influenced by the political climate of the college community may be involved in the resources available for undocumented students. Politically and economically conservative communities, compared to liberal ones, may be less willing to support these students—either fiscally as in the form of tuition rates and scholarships or socially as in the form of international and minority student-oriented events and fairs, and student groups (Caicedo, 2019).

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals As previous attempts in the US to draft legislation providing protective clauses for undocumented youth had failed in previous years, the Obama administration issued a memorandum in June 2012 to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directing that agency to handle deportation cases regarding undocumented youth with greater sensitivity. Titled the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program, it allowed undocumented individuals aged 18–30 who met certain requirements (including having come to the United States before the age of 16 and being currently enrolled in school) to be relieved from threat of deportation and to be able to renew permissions for two years to reside and work in the United States on a case-by-case basis (Ochoa O’Leary, 2014). Due to the Congressional stalemate on immigration reform, DACA represents a bag of mixed fortunes. On the one hand, young immigrants are granted permission to stay in the United States for an extended (albeit limited) amount of time, while on the other hand their immigrant status is not fully resolved, resulting in their continued liminal existence (Sargent & Larchanché-Kim, 2006). Further complicating matters, while orders of deportation at the federal level may be paused, the rights and privileges for these young individuals vary at the state level. Undocumented youth may be eligible for state resources such as driver’s licenses and in-­ state tuition at postsecondary schools in some states (e.g., Illinois and California), or be denied public benefits such as welfare in others (e.g., Nebraska). As undocumented students are ineligible for federal tuition aid, and given the byzantine treatment from state to state, opportunities for postsecondary education are fraught with barriers (Gonzales, 2009). Although DACA does not offer a path to citizenship, an estimated 1.76 million are positioned to benefit from this policy with 85% of undocumented youth having been born in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Regionally, New York and New Jersey are two of the top ten states that have the largest number of potential beneficiaries—110,000 and 70,000, respectively (Batalova & Mittelstadt, 2012). Most undocumented youth tend to enroll in the nation’s


D. A. Caicedo

community (or junior) colleges since they can easily enroll at these open-­ access institutions to meet DACA requirements and given the relatively cost effective and time flexible nature of the institutions.

Politics, Community, and Immigration A key facet of investigating attitudes toward undocumented immigrants in the United States has typically been to focus on political orientation. As a topic of deep contention, political partisanship divides support and opposition to immigration-related issues with restrictive policies found in traditionally Republican states and unrestrictive policies found in Democratic states (Karoly & Perez-Arce, 2016). Past research presents a clear demarcation between Democratic and Republican voters on policies concerning guest worker visas, a path to citizenship, and deportation (Chavez & Provine, 2009; Hajnal & Rivera, 2014; Knoll et al., 2010; Walker & Leitner, 2011). Politically liberal environments have tended to pass more supportive measures for undocumented immigrants such as driver’s licenses and in-state tuition (e.g., New  York City and San Francisco), whereas politically conservative environments have typically passed policies either preventing or prohibiting certain immigrant rights and privileges such as employment and education (e.g., Alabama, Arizona, and Virginia). Previous scholarship also highlights the bidirectionality of partisanship and immigration policy, in that pro- and anti-immigration legislation can be viewed as stemming from individual voters and individual U.S. states separately. Hajnal and Rivera (2014) found that the more anti-immigrant non-Hispanic Whites were, the more strongly they identified as Republican voters. As the authors note, negative views of illegal immigrants are strongly associated with being a Republican. Conversely, voters with more positive views of immigrants tend to be Democratic voters. Consequently, exclusionary policies at both the county and state levels tend to be found in Republican-leaning areas, thereby showcasing the tendency of municipalities to implement policies consistent with resident attitudes toward immigrants and immigration (Walker & Leitner, 2011). The attitudes of the voting public, and by extension their

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ideology, is a key determinant in immigration legislation (Chavez & Provine, 2009). Political and sociological scholarship on the ideological and intergroup differences between US urban, suburban, and rural residents provides a rationale for the liberal-conservative divide between cities and their outlying environs (Ebert & Ovink, 2014; Lichter, 2012). Williamson (2008) makes note of the numerous studies confirming the relationship strength between urban residence and Democratic voters, and suburban residence and conservative political orientation. As political conservatism is usually synonymous with anti-immigrant attitudes, suburban residents are more likely to support restrictive immigration policies compared to urban residents (Fennelly & Federico, 2008; Marrow, 2005). According to this scholarship, there is a greater frequency of diverse and heterogeneous intergroup contact in cities, whereas there is an emphasis on privacy, homogeneity, and a preference for the familiar in suburban and rural communities. In essence, the socio-ideological differences between cities and their surrounding communities—namely, where conservative political orientation is found in the suburbs, while liberalism tends to be higher in metropolitan and urban locales—are mostly explained by the open and closed socio-spatial structures and space inherent in each. Social interaction in open structures is unavoidable and frequent, and therefore individuals interact with others outside of the typical family and peer groups, while closed structures encourage tight and isolated social interactions, such as family and workplace—thereby emphasizing similarity in cultural norms and beliefs (Thompson, 2012). Immigration may be seen by rural and suburban residents as a threat to small-town cohesion, tradition, and the status quo (Garcia & Davidson, 2013). Williamson (2008) argues that the private enjoyment of space (e.g., the automobile and the stand-alone home) and the limited interactions between strangers by means of scripted activity through the lack of public space are the hallmarks of the sprawling suburb. This emphasis on material privacy contributes to a private and conservative social and political worldview, one that is typically uncontested by smaller peer groups (Thompson, 2012). It also contributes to who we view as “citizens”, what we consider to be “citizenship”, whose perspectives are considered in political decision-making, how power should be distributed,


D. A. Caicedo

which political institutions are seen as legitimate, and which social policies should be enacted, since this “bounded space” determines who we “see” regularly, or not. As a result of the interconnection between social interaction and spatial arrangement, worldviews on diversity and citizenship take shape. A “natural” laboratory to observe this interconnection may very well be the college campus, where the beginning stages of ideological acquisition take place (van Dijk, 2002). As DuBois (1903) had written over three quarters of a century before, Anzaldúa (2012) referred to the double-consciousness that exists in the borderlands between cultures and social systems. Immigrants in the US, whether undocumented or not, are subjected to the prevailing commentary by news media sources, about the rights and responsibilities that the foreign-born have/don’t have (or should have/not have) in this country (Finch, 2014). Immigrant youth, particularly undocumented youth, are unique in that (a) they have been students in the American educational system for the duration of their lives and (b) they tend to have greater fluency in the English language compared to more recent arrivals (Batalova et al., 2013). This greater fluency allows the user to navigate two or more “worlds”, each with their own language and messaging regarding society and politics. The inclusion/exclusion hybridity that exists in borderlands (whether geographical or psychological) results in new consciousness and perspective that can only come from being within a system while retaining the knowledge of an outsider who comes from outside the system. Those living in borderlands become adept at switching between both worlds (Anzaldúa, 2012). Therefore, the community college is certainly a site where immigrant youth and undocumented youth are participating actively in society as students, thereby legitimizing their presence (Abrego, 2008), contrary to the prevailing legal discourse of “illegal” immigrants as criminals and potential terrorists which de-legitimates them (van Dijk, 1995). College participation in DACA is thus a site of inter-dependent meaning making and learning. As a result, the rationale for the community college as a site rests on its unique position in the lives of these youth and will look to address the interaction of young immigrants and their US-born peers, with the issue of immigration as mediated through two community colleges (pseudonyms used here): the urban environment of

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“New York Community College” (NYCC) and the suburban campus of “New Jersey Community College” (NJCC). Understanding how the community college plays a role in the complex dynamic of interests, social relations, and practices around DACA offers insights about the challenges and opportunities of higher education and, more broadly, human development and socialization.

A Community College Comparison The research sites for this study consisted of NYCC and NJCC—two neighboring, but unrelated, community colleges in the United States. Aside from landscape differences, these two sites also symbolize somewhat contrasting poles of the political spectrum. New York City is, and has been, a sociopolitically liberal environment, with 69% of voters registered as Democrats (New York State Board of Elections, 2014). By comparison, the corresponding figure in the county where NJCC is located is 21% (New Jersey Department of State, 2014). Demographically, as reflected in the student profiles retrieved from the respective colleges’ institutional data for the Fall 2014 semester (the time of data collection), this is a tale of two colleges. The student population at NYCC is slightly older, more ethnically and racially diverse, and female, compared with the NJCC population which tends to be slightly younger, White/ Caucasian, and evenly split between males and females (Table 8.1). As public higher education receives its funding primarily from state and local government coffers, the sociopolitical environment of the community college merits consideration. While NYCC and NJCC share the similarity that they are both publicly funded colleges (i.e., taxpayer and voter-supported), they are not situated equally. NYCC is the largest college (26,000 students) within the CUNY system, which is itself the largest urban public university system in the nation, comprising of 24 campuses (274,000 students). A significant proportion of CUNY first-­ time freshmen are also first-generation immigrants (Foner, 2007). By comparison, the county in which NJCC is located is generally homogenous. In 2010, US Census records indicated that roughly four out of five residents were White (82%), while in 2000 the corresponding figure was


D. A. Caicedo

Table 8.1  Fall 2014 student demographic data Total enrollment Gender  Male  Female Age  ≤ 20 years old Race/ethnicity  White/Caucasian  Black/African-American  Hispanic/Latino  Asian





43.2% 56.8%

50.3% 49.5%



12.1% 31.5% 41.6% 14.6%

59.1% 4.8% 19.5% 5.6%

87%. As a result, questions arise regarding the influence of cultural heterogeneity and homogeneity. Whereas there is no national or state prohibition against the admission of undocumented students to US colleges, the individual colleges and universities may have their own policies on admitting undocumented students (Gonzales, 2009). Therefore, a closer inspection of the social context of the public community college, as influenced by the political landscape, is warranted—particularly in the case of NJCC. Immediately following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the US, the NJCC Board of Trustees authorized an institutional policy preventing the registration of undocumented students. Almost a decade later, the Board rescinded this policy and added the provision that undocumented students could now pay the in-county tuition rate ($115 per credit), which at the time was half that of the out-­of-­county rate ($326 per credit) that undocumented students were subject to, as international students (Caicedo, 2014). Yet only after two months, the college repealed this policy after a contentious public hearing where community members voiced their disapproval (Caicedo, 2019). An exploratory, mixed methods study was conducted on the experiences of both the community that houses the community college, as well as on that of undocumented youth within the broader population, attending the community college at a time of changing politics regarding

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their rights, and the role that their socialization in the United States plays in their understanding of themselves, education, and politics in relation to diverse sociopolitical contexts where they live. The research objective of the following experimental study (Study I; Caicedo & Badaan, 2021) was to explore the college samples’ attitudes on unauthorized immigration through an implicit factor in social labeling, whereas the aim of the subsequent semi-structured interviews (Study II; Caicedo, 2019) was to draw conclusions regarding the universality of being undocumented in a community college or the potential influence of the social environment on the lives of undocumented youth. As such, this study builds onto the work of educational psychologists and sociologists who have investigated the developmental limbo that exists for undocumented college students (Abrego, 2008; Gonzales, 2011), how political activism surrounding immigration policy impacts their educational well-being (Abrego, 2008; Terriquez, 2015), the importance of the community college for documented and undocumented immigrant students (Dozier, 1995; Jauregui et al., 2008), and the beneficial effect of DACA (Gonzales et al., 2014; Terriquez, 2015). All procedures in both studies were approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York (475901-2) (Table 8.2).

 tudy I: Immigration Attitudes Tied S to College Context Participants were community college students at either NYCC or NJCC and, as such, the majority of the NYCC participants were New York City residents, whereas the majority of the NJCC participants resided in the county where NJCC is located. The total sample size was N = 744, N = 467 from NYCC and N = 277 from NJCC. Males and females were 42% and 57%, respectively, with ages ranging from 18 to 60. Immigration status was not investigated. The composition of the sample reflects the traditional undergraduate student population, but under two distinct student profiles. The NYCC student tended to be female, older, first-­ generation immigrant, and multilingual. The NJCC student, on the other hand, tended to be younger, U.S.-born, and monolingual. These


D. A. Caicedo

Table 8.2  Demographic characteristics of sample


Male Female

Country of birth Country of citizenship Years residing in the United States

Prefer not to answer Total U.S. born (N = 505) U.S. citizen (N = 590) < 3 years 3–6 years 7–10 years 11–14 years 15–18 years >19 years

Years residing in state

No. of fluent languages

No. of children

Total (N = 744)

NYCC (N = 467)

N (%) 310 (42.2%) 417 (56.7%) 8 (1.1%)

N (%) N (%) 175 (37.8%) 135 (49.6%) 281 (60.7%) 136 (50.0%) 7 (1.5%) 1 (0.4%)

735 505 (67.9%) 590 (79.3%) 34 (4.6%)

463 272 275 (58.9%) 230 (83.0%) 337 (72.2%) 253 (91.3%) 28 (6.1%) 6 (2.2%)

76 (10.4%) 47 (6.4%) 28 (3.8%) 88 (12.0%) 459 (62.7%) Total 732 < 3 years 45 (6.2%) 3–6 years 89 (12.2%) 7–10 years 52 (7.2%) 11–14 years 34 (4.7%) 15–18 years 100 (13.8%) >19 years 407 (56.0%) Total 727 1 311 (42.4%) 2 or more 422 (57.5%) Total 734 No children 677 (92.6%) At least 1 child 54 (7.4%) Total 731

68 (14.8%) 38 (8.2%) 23 (5.0%) 44 (9.5%) 260 (56.4%) 461 35 (7.7%) 76 (16.7%) 41 (9.0%) 22 (4.8%) 50 (11.0%)

NJCC (N = 277)

8 (3.0%) 9 (3.3%) 5 (1.8%) 44 (16.2%) 199 (73.4%) 271 10 (3.7%) 13 (4.8%) 11 (4.1%) 12 (4.4%) 50 (18.5%)

232 (50.9%) 175 (64.6%) 456 271 129 (27.9%) 182 (58.5%) 332 (72.0%) 90 (33.2%) 462 272 419 (91.1%) 258 (95.2%) 41 (8.9%) 13 (6.6%) 460 271

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differences in the diversity of the student population are representative of the respective colleges’ student profiles, as noted earlier. All participants responded to three instruments. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: “illegal” and “undocumented” and administered a 7-item scale tapping into attitudes toward immigrants, with questions such as “____ immigrants are criminals”, “_____ immigrants are hard-working people”, and “_____ immigrants are deserving of social welfare benefits in the US” (reverse-scored). Response options were in Likert-scale format, ranging from −3 (strongly disagree) to +3 (strongly agree). Participants also completed an 8-item measure of General System Justification (GSJ) (Kay & Jost, 2003). The GSJ scale reflects endorsement of sociopolitical ideology, such as “In general, you find society to be fair”, “Everyone has a fair shot at wealth and happiness”, and “The United States is the best country in the world to live in”. Two items from this scale were adapted to reflect attitudes toward the status quo of immigration policy, namely “The state’s immigration policies serve the greater good” and “US immigration policy needs to be restructured” (reverse-scored). Items were rated on a scale from −3 (strongly disagree) to +3 (strongly agree). Finally, all participants self-­ reported political orientation through an item asking “How liberal or conservative would you consider yourself to be?”, rated on a scale from 0 (completely liberal) to 1 (completely conservative). Hierarchical multiple regression regressed control variables (namely age, sex, and citizenship status) and college context variables—(a) college (dummy coded: 0: NYCC, 1: NJCC), (b) label (dummy coded: 0: illegal, 1: undocumented), (c) political orientations, and (d) system justification on the outcome variable of attitudes toward immigrants. In a third and final step, we entered the college by political orientation and college by system justification interaction terms to test a potential moderation. All the continuous predictors were mean-centered as well as the outcome variable. All assumptions for hierarchical multiple regression were satisfied. Results of the analysis are displayed in Table 8.3. The hierarchical multiple regression revealed that at stage one, demographic variables contributed significantly to the regression model, F (3, 672) = 9.540, p < 0.001, and accounted for 4% of the variation in attitudes toward unauthorized


D. A. Caicedo

Table 8.3  Summary of hierarchical regression analysis predicting attitudes toward immigrants Variable Step 1 Age Sex Country of citizenship Step 2 Age Sex Country of citizenship Label College System justification Political orientation Step 3 Age Sex Country of citizenship Label College System justification Political orientation College x SJ College x PO




−0.120** −0.093* −0.103**

−3.137 −2.462 −2.681

−0.118 −0.093 −0.101

−0.047 −0.061† −0.058 0.044 0.298*** 0.092* 0.111**

−1.274 −1.685 −1.579 1.226 7.997 2.472 3.002

−0.045 −0.060 −0.056 0.044 0.285 0.088 0.107

−0.055 −0.064† −0.060 0.046 0.298*** 0.148** 0.048 −0.089† 0.104***

−1.474 −1.761 −1.633 1.278 8.023 2.836 1.002 −1.682 2.166

−0.052 −0.063 −0.058 0.045 0.285 0.101 0.036 −0.060 0.077



Δ R2










Note: *. p < 0.05; **. p < 0.01; ***. p < 0.001; †. p < 0.10, marginally significant

immigrants. Introducing the predictors, namely label (illegal vs. undocumented), college (NYCC vs. NJCC), general system justification, and political orientation explained an additional 11.2% of variation in attitudes and this change in R2 was significant, F (7, 668) = 17.200, p < 0.001. Finally, adding the interaction terms of college x system justification and college x political orientation to the regression model explained only an additional 0.8% of the variation in attitudes toward immigrants, but this change in R2 was also significant, F (9, 666) = 14.137, p < 0.001. When all the variables and their interactions were included in stage three of the regression model, college (context), system justification, and the interaction between college and political orientation were significant predictors, and the interaction between college and system justification was marginally significant (p = 0.093), alongside sex (p = 0.079). Interestingly,

8  Investigating the Community in Community Colleges… 


including the interaction terms in the model removed the formerly significant effect of political orientation on attitudes toward immigrants, which indicates that the effect of political orientation on attitudes was dependent on context. The more politically conservative the participants self-reported to be, the more likely they were to hold negative attitudes toward immigrants. The most important predictor of attitudes toward immigrants was college context (β = −0.298), where participants from NJCC were more likely than participants from NYCC to hold negative attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants, followed by system justification (β = 0.148), where individuals who justified the status quo, more were more likely to harbor more negative attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants. The moderation hypothesis was then probed, which suggested that social context will moderate the relationship between political ideology (both political orientation and system justification) and attitudes toward immigrants. The interaction between political orientation and college (social context) was statistically significant, F (1, 712) = 4.111, p = 0.043, and the interaction graph is displayed in Fig.  8.1. Analyses of simple slopes revealed that for participants from NJCC, political conservatism predicted an increase in negative attitudes toward immigrants to a greater

Fig. 8.1  Political ideology × college


D. A. Caicedo

extent (B = 0.109, SE = 0.031, z = 3.515, p < 0.001, 95% CI = [0.048, 0.170]) than for participants at NYCC (B = 0.054, SE = 0.015, z = 3.60, p < 0.001, 95% CI = [0.024, 0.085]). This indicates that political orientation was a stronger predictor of negative attitudes in NJCC as compared to NYCC. What is it about the two social contexts (i.e., the two campuses, NJCC, and NYCC) that drove such differences in results? Post-hoc analyses were conducted to uncover some answers to this question. In the survey, participants had also been asked to estimate the percentage of the time their friends and family use the terms illegal(s), undocumented, or alien(s) when talking about immigration topics. Chi-square tests revealed that friends of participants from NJCC were more likely than friends of participants from NYCC to use the term illegal(s) (Χ2 (33) = 46.581, p = 0.0294, one-­ sided) and alien(s) (Χ2 (30) = 40.310, p = 0.0495, one-sided), and less likely to use the term undocumented (Χ2 (33) = 39.791, p = 0.0345, one-­ sided). Similar results emerged when looking at the family context, where family members of participants from NJCC were more likely than friends of participants from NYCC to use the term illegal(s) (Χ2 (28) = 51.279, p = 0.002, one-sided; p = 0.0495, one-sided), and less likely to use the term undocumented (Χ2 (25) = 34.181, p = 0.052, one-sided, marginally significantly). There were no significant differences in the use of the term alien(s) by families from both contexts (Χ2 (24) = 23.363, p = 0.249). In terms of how often participants encounter the terms illegal(s), alien(s), and undocumented when hearing or reading about immigration topics, similar patterns emerged as well. Participants from NJCC were more likely to hear the terms illegal(s) (Χ2 (29) = 39.273, p = 0.048, one-sided) and marginally less likely to hear the term undocumented (Χ2 (30) = 38.607, p = 0.0673, one-sided, marginally significant) compared to those from NYCC. There were no significant differences around hearing the word alien(s) (Χ2 (27) = 29.107, p = 0.177, ns, one-sided). When reading about immigration issues, participants from NJCC were more likely to encounter the terms illegal(s) (Χ2 (30) = 45.719, p = 0.017, one-sided) and alien(s) (Χ2 (29) = 39.960, p = 0.042, one-sided), but not less likely to hear the term undocumented (Χ2 (33) = 30.687, ns, one-sided, p = 0.291) compared to those from NYCC.

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Study II: Lived Experiences Seven students from NYCC and NJCC were interviewed, consisting of four (4) NYCC and three (3) NJCC interviews/students. The four (4) NYCC students were “Asia” (born in Antigua), “Diana” (Peru), “Lorena” (Mexico), and “Eddie” (Mexico). The three (3) NJCC students were “Roberta” (Brazil), “Christopher” (Colombia), and “Elsa” (Ecuador). A snowball recruitment method was utilized. Semi-structured interviews included five questions about broad life history (“Tell me about your life before coming to the U.S. and how you became undocumented”), daily life (“What is your education, work, and family life like?”), presence in the United States (“What does it mean to you to be living in the United States now?” “How do you make sense of your life in the context of your life experience?”), and opinions about DACA (“What is your opinion on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program? Are there good, and not-so-good, sides to this program?”). Grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) was used as both a methodological and an analytical approach to allow for an unbiased collection of responses and to extrapolate the categorical codes (values) from the responses to the exploratory questions. The codes were then subdivided into the shared and unshared categories, which ultimately led to the theoretical conclusions drawn in this study. Shared Values of Relationships To start, there were shared values between NYCC and NJCC undocumented students regarding others’ understandings of their lives. Both groups of students shared the value that “it is important to be understood as an undocumented individual”. This value tended to appear with another value: “It is important to acknowledge that undocumented individuals encounter many social, vocational, and educational obstacles.” Implicitly found in their interviews, undocumented students were demanding and expressing the need for empathy and understanding by others into their plights. As students detailed their daily routines, such as their often frantic school and work schedules coupled with their familial obligations in caring for others, or their difficulty in associating with peers due to their social and legal


D. A. Caicedo

c­ ircumstances, these students were expressing the belief that others should be more cognizant of what it means to be undocumented.  Shared Values of Agency  Both groups of students reported that their undocumented status indirectly gave them a sense of ownership and agency over their lives. This experience, of course, is not entirely positive given the demands and obligations they face as students, employees, and sons and daughters. Because of this pressure to excel, succeed, and be seemingly perfect in the eyes of others, they feel that non-immigrant, and especially non-­undocumented, students do not fully understand the struggle of “living in the shadows” and all the limitations inherent in not having a Social Security number. They believe that their U.S.-born peers take advantage of the educational system by not taking their lives and academics as seriously as they should and drawing a comparison between “Us” and “Them” (Abrego, 2008).  Shared Values of Disguise  The role of “disguise” also played prominently in both groups’ narratives, as reflected in the value of “passing, or being in disguise, is needed for survival”. With this value, students expressed the need to be “in disguise”, either intentionally or not. In some cases, students were instructed at an early age, by their parents, to never disclose their legal status to others due to the potential negative ramifications, including the almost certain deportation for themselves and others due to the lack of due process in detention centers (Kanstroom, 2007). In other cases, students acknowledged that their friends and coworkers are not even aware of their legal status—which they prefer. In other words, “passing” for a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident (i.e., “normal”) and concealing their stigmatized identities, is a part of their daily lives and practiced occasionally for survival purposes. “Learning to be illegal” and maintaining secrecy, seems to be an early part of the psychological development of undocumented youth (Gonzales, 2011).  Shared Values of Optimism  Another of the shared values came in the form of optimism, expressed as “It is important to remain optimistic despite a current state of affairs”. This value was seen most readily when students were discussing immigration reform. Despite its stalemate, stu-

8  Investigating the Community in Community Colleges… 


dents reflected the belief that reform may occur in the future, and therefore, it is important to remain productive and optimistic—a belief echoed by many other undocumented youth nationwide (Abrego, 2008; Patel, 2013; Perez, 2009; Terriquez, 2015).  Shared Values of Life Purpose  Finally, for both the NYCC and NJCC students, a shared value that dealt with their life purpose was that “despite one’s immigration status, it is important to be determined in achieving one’s goals”. This value appeared concurrently with two additional ones: “Having a life purpose is needed for survival,” and “Education is a valued element in the life of an undocumented student.” These values appeared when students were describing how they viewed their lives before and after receiving DACA.  Roberta, Christopher, and Elsa claimed that DACA allowed them to become “human” again, by allowing them to not live in the shadows of society. DACA, in fact, helped reignite the desire to pursue education for Elsa, who found herself aimless and without hope during the year after her high school graduation.  Eddie stated that having DACA has motivated him to imagine and want to pursue more education beyond the Associate’s degree, in order to obtain a degree where he could prevent others from dropping out of school and encourage students to complete their degrees. The confluence of money, education, and the value of DACA is reflected in the shared belief that “financial aid is critical to achieving one’s educational goals”. Financial aid is important to any student in higher education, but obtaining DACA has assisted these undocumented students in continuing their studies (Batalova et al., 2013). Having undocumented status serves, in some ways, as a motivating factor in their pursuit of achievement, even with DACA status. Roberta commented that being undocumented “makes me feel like I have to be perfect in almost every way in order to succeed”. This drive for perfection, then, has made these students work harder for their goals, despite the legal barriers inherent in unauthorized status. Both groups of students also report that this drive to succeed adds some degree of pressure to accomplish what others cannot, including their parents, siblings, and friends. In other words, these youths find DACA status to serve as gasoline to their fires of ambition, particularly when living in a mixed-status


D. A. Caicedo

household where some family members may not qualify for DACA or any other federal immigration program. This weight on their shoulders is not interpreted as a burdensome weight, but rather a weight of support and encouragement. Not surprisingly, then, the value of “Family support and guidance are valued elements in the life of an undocumented student” was observed in both groups. Unshared Values Related to Advocacy  The NJCC interview narratives provided nearly all the unshared values, ranging from the importance of activism to the loss of freedom. The value of “advocating for immigrant rights as needed for survival” is prominent in the NJCC narratives, compared to the NYCC ones. This is not surprising, given that both Roberta and Christopher acknowledged their participation in advocating for various initiatives at the college involving tuition and financial aid for undocumented students, including in-state tuition rates. None of the NYCC students made statements that indicated (or emphasized) the need for activism involving their rights as undocumented students, but this value was clearly tilted in the NJCC direction, as reflected in Roberta’s grassroots efforts to organize a group to protest tuition for undocumented students.  Unshared Values Related to Policies and Student Support  This value concurred with three other values, which again were seen much more in the NJCC interviews than in the NYCC ones, which were “Having an in-state tuition policy is critical to achieving one’s educational goals”, “It is the role of the community college to support its community of students, including the undocumented”, and “It is unfair that undocumented students face greater academic demands and pressure than U.S.-born students”. These values were distinct from each other, yet grouped under the premise that life as an undocumented community college student is difficult because the academic and financial demands placed upon them are inequitable, compared to their U.S.-born peers.  In terms of the quality of education, the NYCC and NJCC students generally felt that their academic experience as the respective institutions was a positive one. Yet, the NJCC students also felt that college administrators should be more knowledgeable or play a bigger role in

8  Investigating the Community in Community Colleges… 


understanding, the struggles faced by undocumented students, whether at NJCC or at the four-year transfer colleges that these students are aiming to apply to. Christopher recounted an experience he had contacting a small liberal arts college in southern New Jersey, and being frustrated at their lack of knowledge regarding the particularities of being an undocumented student. In fact, this acknowledgment of the struggles of undocumented students was what pushed Asia to come to New York City from Georgia and enroll at NYCC after noticing a section on the school website devoted to undocumented student affairs. Perhaps not surprisingly, educational institutions that work with a significant immigrant student population hold greater knowledge about them and their needs, compared to other, even more prestigious institutions (Patel, 2013). In Lorena’s case below, she had been offered paid employment at the college by the Vice President of Student Affairs, thereby fostering a continuing relationship with the school and giving her an opportunity to “polish her skills”. Unshared Values Related to Responsibilities  Lastly, two additional values displayed in the NJCC interviews dealt with having to embrace maturity and responsibility in the face of a loss of freedom. The value of “As an undocumented individual, it is important to be mature, responsible, disciplined, and independent” was expressed vividly in the interviews with Roberta, Christopher, and Elsa in their mention of a hyperawareness of themselves and their status and the potential consequences of their daily actions, which has affected their psychological development. These NJCC students reported having to “grow up” or mature faster than their college peers. The educational and vocational limitations brought on by undocumented status has forced them to work extremely hard in the classroom, devote any hours remaining in the day to their employment to pay for their tuition, and fulfill their familial and personal economic obligations, but also sacrifice hours of sleep and leisure for social activities.  This acknowledgment of political and legal realities was a critical element in all the interviews, as to how these students viewed their positions in the DACA process. Christopher, for instance, reported that with


D. A. Caicedo

undocumented status, one must be very cautious in life because “Anything you could do wrong, could lead to your deportation”. This immediate need to be careful in one’s dealings with society, as “no one really understood their situation”, is most certainly haunting and leads to Christopher stating that he felt like, “[I felt like] I was in jail.” Having the tattoo of undocumented status removes agency, at least in the form of being able to be completely free to interact with others without fear of “making an error”. The one major crucible in their lives as community college students was the economic and psychological effects of paying for their tuition. Roberta at NJCC claimed that before obtaining DACA, she had the unfortunate and repetitive experience of having to pay her tuition in cash, by which she received quizzical looks from students as well as the administration. In December 2013, the Tuition Equality Act (also known as the “NJ Dream Act”) was passed by the New Jersey state legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Chris Christie which allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates (Portnoy, 2014). However, since they are still barred from receiving Federal and State financial aid, they are still faced with high tuition costs despite this policy change. This lack of financial aid as a barrier in life, in terms of not permitting the relative ease and flexibility in paying for college, was seen readily in the NJCC interviews.

Discussion An analysis of the broader social environment surrounding two distinct community colleges provides conclusive evidence of the social and cognitive implications in the immigration debate and policy—specifically, that urban and suburban settings provided a point of difference in both unauthorized immigrant attitudes and sociopolitical ideology to a significant degree. Given the auxiliary results demonstrating that urban students reported “hearing” and “seeing” the term “undocumented” to a greater degree compared to suburban students (who reported “hearing” and “seeing” the term “illegal” more), the relationship between social label

8  Investigating the Community in Community Colleges… 


exposure and social environment is used as evidence for the interactions that exist between labels and individuals in differing contexts. Urban students may be, know of, or have had actual interactions with unauthorized immigrants to a higher degree than suburban students and may therefore have more positive attitudes toward that group. Malkin (as cited in Smith, 2006) coined the term “Benetton context” to differentiate between sites where ethnicity is viewed as “cool” and “hip”, versus “racialized” and “stigmatized”—a possible categorization between urban and suburban environments. Diversity may be perceived as an asset in urban and cosmopolitan settings compared to suburban and homogeneous settings, where diversity may be viewed as problematic. In a cognitive effort to maintain homogeneity, suburban students may wish to support the status quo, rather than wish to alter it, compared to students in urban settings where diversity is the “norm”. Values analysis conducted on the interview transcripts revealed stark differences between the two groups of students regarding how they view themselves, how they view others (including their respective academic institutions), and what the future may hold for them. It is interesting to note that self-advocacy was observed much more readily in the NJCC sample, compared to the NYCC sample, given the relative isolated nature of this population in a suburban context. While both groups of students found themselves having to work harder to accomplish their goals, the NJCC students seemed to have the added pressure of having to psychologically develop into well-groomed adults at a faster pace, compared to their NYCC peers. It might be assumed that activism and public exposure would be higher in the NYCC sample, given the social context of metropolitan racial and ethnic heterogeneity. However, these results point to an interesting paradox—namely, that a greater sense of isolation is related to a greater need for self-advocacy. It is argued that these value differences are attributed to the different social environments found in urban New York City and suburban NJCC County, New Jersey. Being undocumented in a populous and diverse city is not the same as being undocumented in a smaller and homogeneous community, psychologically speaking. The results of this study, then, add to the knowledge base that higher education administrators and faculty could utilize when preparing academic and social initiatives.


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Implications for Administrators and Faculty College-based initiatives are vital in the life of the undocumented students if they are to continue their academic progression and become the nation’s next leaders. For instance, initiatives at CUNY such as “CUNY/ NYC Citizenship Now!” provide an interactive space for studying the attitudes, perceptions, and emotions toward not only the community college but also immigration policy (such as DACA). Fostering a community where structural inequality is not only discussed, but also addressed, is important for all college members—perhaps particularly so for those with irregular legal status. Stemming from the social unrest reverberating across the nation during Summer 2020, NYCC created a steering committee consisting of students, faculty, staff, contractors, and collaborators to address systemic inequality at the institutional and pedagogical level with actionable goals. This committee is now embedded within the college’s mission statement and goals. The reflection, as well as the impact, of the higher education institution on the community in which it resides cannot be underestimated. The country’s suburban and rural community colleges should support their undocumented student population by offering them feasible means by which to pay for their tuition (Perez, 2009). These students are yearning for an education—providing them with in-state tuition rates and institutional financial aid options to start would be a boon to their confidence (as well as the institution’s enrollment). Despite their age, these youth manage more responsibilities than many adults do. By facilitating, or even removing, the barriers found in higher education such as tuition and financial aid, obstacles to social inclusion into American social and civic life would also be lowered. Otherwise, as Smith has noted (2006), a large, disenfranchised segment of the undocumented population grows, fostering the “rainbow underclass” that segmented assimilation theory claims would occur (Portes & Zhou, 1993). The respective colleges play major roles in this dynamic as well, as the NJCC students were much more expressive regarding their plight paying their tuition without financial aid.

8  Investigating the Community in Community Colleges… 


Yet, recent research suggests that providing in-state tuition is insufficient in ensuring graduation (Conger & Chellman, 2013). While the removal of this barrier is viewed as critical, other academic resources such as guidance and mentoring should also play a pivotal role in the academic life of any student, but particularly so for the undocumented (Perez, 2009). For example, NYCC has implemented a cohort experience program serving first-generation students, providing academic and social support while being partnered with a faculty or staff member who is also first-generation and/or the first in their family to attend college. Initiatives such as these have the potential to increase a student’s sense of belonging, ultimately leading to academic success (i.e., completion and graduation). Undoubtedly, a reflection of differing state immigration policies at the time, as well as these students’ roles in the undocumented student activist movement, a harsh moral comparison is implicitly drawn between themselves (as hard-working and diligent students) and their U.S.-born peers (as oblivious to their struggles and non-conscientious in their work ethic). As centers for learning, as well as socialization, community college campuses should create welcoming environments for all their students— including the undocumented and their allies (Valenzuela et al., 2015). Given the results presented in this chapter, urban and suburban-based college events should aim to accomplish different objectives. For instance, at urban colleges like NYCC, efforts should be made to expose students to the socio-historical elements of immigration, while at suburban institutions like NJCC, efforts should be made to expose students to the criminal justice side of immigration—including how legal policies, either in part or in whole, affect diverse dimensions of the undocumented immigrant lived experience. Terriquez (2015) claimed that the condition of illegality serves as a master status that overpowers social and individual characteristics, thereby influencing diverse aspects of their lives. While immigration status is undoubtedly a constant psychological presence, the students in this study used their status to help either themselves or others with the help of DACA, but dependent on context. Therefore, this study re-presents illegality as a psychological construct, one that can have both negative and positive appraisals. A motivation to succeed may be an indirect positive outcome as it pertains to the condition of illegality (Dozier, 1995).


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This maturity and determination seemed to be the undertone to the psychological experience in the United States for undocumented college students, as they will rest upon these qualities to achieve their individual goals. NYCC students, however, seemed content with achieving a more collective-centered goal, in helping their families obtain needed resources, as a function of their DACA status and their college education. As many others have noted (Abrego, 2006, 2008; Gonzales, 2011; Martinez, 2014; Valenzuela et al., 2015; Zatz & Rodriguez, 2015), comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for undocumented youth is sorely needed in the United States. Undocumented students want to be heard. They want to be understood by those who may have never crossed the desert or given a false passport. While not “born American”, they were “raised American” and demand the same benefits and privileges. Despite this, they have attended school, learned English, made friends, and done what any other “documented” young adult has done. In some cases, they have exceeded what has been expected of them. Therefore, it is imperative that higher education administrators, faculty, peers, and yes—even the larger community—are made aware of the influence each has to shape positive change for undocumented students in higher education.

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New York State Board of Elections. (2014). Annual report 2014. http://www. Ochoa O’Leary, A. (2014). Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In Undocumented immigrants in the United States: An encyclopedia of their experience (pp. 150–153). ABC-CLIO. Patel, L. (2013). Youth held at the border: Immigration, education, and the politics of inclusion. Teachers College Press. Perez, W. (2009). We are Americans: Undocumented students pursuing the American dream. Stylus Publishing. Perlstein, L. (2011). The Aspen Prize for community college excellence. Aspen Institute. Portes, A., & Zhou, M. (1993). The new second generation: Segmented assimilation and its variants. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 22(2), 217–238. Portnoy, J. (2014). Chris Christie trumpets signing of Dream Act in Union City. January 7. trumpets_signing_of_dream_act_in_union_city.html. Accessed December 20, 2021. Sargent, C. F., & Larchanché-Kim, S. (2006). Liminal lives: Immigration status, gender, and the construction of identities among Malian migrants in Paris. American Behavioral Scientist, 50, 9–26. Smith, R. C. (2006). Mexican New York: Transnational lives of new immigrants. University of California Press. Teranishi, R. T., Suárez-Orozco, C., & Suárez-Orozco, M. (2011). Immigrants in community colleges. Future of Children, 21(1), 153–169. Terriquez, V. (2015). Dreams delayed: Barriers to degree completion among undocumented community college students. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(8), 1302–1323. Thompson, M. J. (2012). Suburban origins of the Tea Party: Spatial dimensions of the new conservative personality. Critical Sociology, 38(4), 1–18. Valenzuela, J. I., Perez, W., Perez, I., Montiel, G. I., & Chaparro, G. (2015). Undocumented students at the community college: Creating institutional capacity. New Directions for Community Colleges, 172, 87–96. van Dijk, T. A. (1995). On propositions, racism and democracy. Discourse & Society, 6, 147–148. van Dijk, T. A. (2002). Political discourse and political cognition. In P. A. Chilton & C. Schäeffner (Eds.), Politics as text and talk: Analytic approaches to political discourse (pp. 203–237). John Benjamins Publishing.


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Walker, K. E., & Leitner, H. (2011). The variegated landscape of local immigration policies in the United States. Urban Geography, 32(2), 156–178. Williamson, T. (2008). Sprawl, spatial location, and politics: How ideological identification tracks the built environment. American Politics Research, 36(6), 903–933. Zatz, M. S., & Rodriguez, N. (2015). Dreams and nightmares: Immigration policy, youth, and families. University of California Press.

9 Advancing Equal Pay in Higher Education: An Intersectional Examination of Structures, Socialization, and Solutions to Close the Gender Wage Gap Kelly Capatosto

Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a devastating economic impact on women. Across all professions, roughly half of women reported a loss of income between March and July of 2020 (Tucker & Ewing-­ Nelson, 2020). Additionally, women were four times more likely than men to drop out of the labor force in September 2020 (Kashen et al., 2020). These worsening economic conditions have been so pervasive that Vice President Kamala Harris proclaimed that “the exodus of women from the workforce is a national emergency” (Harris, 2021). Moreover, the loss of income has already translated into widespread negative impacts

K. Capatosto (*) Harvard University, School of Law, Cambridge, MA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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for women and their families, such as experiencing housing and food insecurity (Tucker & Ewing-Nelson, 2020). Importantly, the share of this economic burden has not been shouldered equally, and women of color, particularly Black and Latina women, have been disproportionately impacted by job losses and their subsequent harms. For example, according to a snapshot of the 2020 Household Pulse Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau, Black and Latina women experienced the highest rates of income loss of any group at 54.5% and 63.7%, respectively (Tucker & Ewing-Nelson, 2020). Consequently, these groups were also the most likely to report the experience of food insecurity. Black and Latina women comprised 21.5% and 21.7% of those who reported food insecurity, respectively—which makes both of these groups three times more likely to report food insecurity compared to White males at 7% (Tucker & Ewing-Nelson, 2020). Women employed within the higher education system are not immune from these worsening economic conditions, and scholars have already raised concerns that the cascading effects of the pandemic are likely to widen existing pay disparities (Fain, 2020; Malisch et  al., 2020). The pandemic has drastically shifted the social and economic conditions for colleges and universities across the US (Fain, 2020). In response, some institutions have frozen annual wages and eliminated contributions to retirement accounts. Since these employer-funded contributions are almost always a percentage of base pay, women stand to fare worse due to existing pay inequities (Flaherty, 2020; Malisch et al., 2020). Additionally, preliminary research reveals that the obligations of remote working, coupled alongside increasing family care demands, disproportionately impact female faculty, and these gender differences may have consequences for how universities conduct tenure and promotion practices well into the future (Dolan & Lawless, 2020; Oleschuk, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified existing fissures resulting from an overreliance on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to gender equity, and these early analyses are only scratching the surface of the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women—especially women of color. To address these multifaceted economic inequities, institutions can adopt an intersectional approach—one that considers the historical, political, and structural forces that compound the experience of

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discrimination based on other salient social identities. Popularized by Crenshaw (1989), the concept of intersectionality sheds light on the interactive construction of social identities, particularly that of race and gender. Her seminal piece centered the experiences of Black women and offered a theoretical approach to understand their interactions with institutions as categorically distinct from the experiences of both Black men and White women (Crenshaw, 1989). Crenshaw and others’ work helped pave the way for an intentional investment in women of color, particularly Black and Latina women, as a necessary component of gender equity. In other words, to address gender-based pay gaps, one must also address long-­standing inequities resulting from systemic and interpersonal racism. While the pandemic has helped to highlight the current reality of economic and social inequality in higher education, university leaders have already been grappling with the challenge of closing pervasive gender pay gaps. For decades, women have experienced significant inequities along formal and informal pathways to success that impact pay equity. Similarly credentialed women earned less and have less access to leadership roles than their male counterparts. For example, according to the 2019 update of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Faculty Compensation Survey (FCS), female faculty earned only 82% of men’s salaries during 2018–19 (Curtis, 2019). A 2017 report released by the American Council on Education found that pay gaps existed across every academic classification, whether faculty or staff (Johnson, 2017). Men were also more likely than women to hold tenure track positions and to serve as full professors (Johnson, 2017). Men are also more likely to hold positions within university leadership, such as university president, chief academic officer, or governing board member (Johnson, 2017). Reporting specifically on higher education administrators, a 2017 College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) report revealed a consistent gender pay gap of approximately $20,000, which persisted for 15 years (Bichsel & McChesney, 2017). However valuable, these data alone do not fully encapsulate the experiences of all women and, when accounting for differences in races and ethnic backgrounds, the data reveal significant within-gender pay gaps. As a result, many of these national-level datasets are explicitly endorsing


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more intersectional approaches to data collection that acknowledge existing gaps to measure factors related to faculty pay gaps by both race and gender (Colby & Fowler, 2020; McChesney, 2018). For example, when examining median salary data across the higher education workforce, a 2018 CUPA-HR report revealed that women of color1 earned only 67 cents on the dollar compared to White men, while White women earned 81 cents on the dollar (McChesney, 2018). The same report showed that White women were paid more than their Black and Latina counterparts across staff, faculty, and professional positions—the only exception being in administrative roles, where both groups were underrepresented compared to men (McChesney, 2018). Higher education institutions should take an intersectional approach to pay equity that encompasses multiple layers of identity—especially the roles of race and gender, and institutional legacy. This framework requires the interrogation of how both systemic discrimination and socialized discrimination, such as implicit bias and microaggressions, have perpetuated these gaps. With a focus on both structures and socialization processes, this chapter will explore the factors that undermine gender equity in higher education at and prior to decision points that impact wages and opportunities for professional advancement. This chapter will also highlight the strengths and limitations of popular strategies used to address gender and racial inequity in higher education and conclude with practical suggestions to promote accountability and institutional change.

Inequity Maintained Through Structures Pay gaps within higher education institutions do not begin at the point of a salary determination or hiring decision. Instead, the presence of current inequities results from a long history of economic and social practices that have been, and continue to be, racialized and gendered (Hamilton, 2019). Since the 1970s, the era of ‘neoliberalism’, marked by an emphasis on deregulation, created a model of American ‘prosperity’ that consolidated economic and political power at the top through  Defined by CUPA-HR as those who identified as Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino.


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exploitive and inequitable labor practices (Hamilton, 2019). The neoliberal view of economic growth played an integral role in shaping values and practices that were adopted by higher education institutions during this time, and the isolation of power resulting from this ideology persists into the current education landscape around pay equity (Hamilton, 2019; Todd 2016). In particular, the overemphasis on values of individualism and personal responsibility indicative of the neoliberal framework have shaped perceptions around the function of higher education as a path to economic mobility. By invoking an emphasis on individualism, neoliberalism helped uphold the mythology that a graduate degree and a subsequent career in higher education were the panacea to close pay gaps and eradicate poverty for historically marginalized groups. Yes, for any one individual, a PhD or similar credential can increase earning potential. However, at the group level, these gaps are maintained or even exacerbated (Hamilton et al., 2015). For example, racial wealth gaps between Black and White families actually increase at higher levels of educational attainment (Hamilton et al., 2015). To justify this discrepancy, a neoliberal perspective requires a series of inaccurate assumptions—primarily, that some flaw or personal choice must account for the continued presence of wage gaps. In other words, people who are paid less are often characterized as ‘undeserving’ or providing less value to the institution (Hamilton, 2019). For example, women and people of color who are disadvantaged by pay inequity are often blamed for making poor choices (e.g., choosing a less rigorous field of study) instead of focusing on the structural and economic conditions that are the source of these gaps (Alani, 2017; Hamilton, 2019; Schieder & Gould, 2016). To summarize, the neoliberal notion that higher education is the ultimate equalizer does not hold up in practice. Rather, generational wealth reproduces more wealth, and education institutions can play the role of the middleman (Hamilton, 2019). This dissonance is at least partly due to diminished opportunities for higher education affordability and access. The recent US higher education affordability crisis severely inhibited young people from accessing the same educational opportunities as prior generations (US Congress Joint Economic Committee, 2017). It is incredibly difficult for students, even with the help of loans and scholarships, to offset the expenses of


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pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at four-year colleges (i.e., the traditional pathway toward a future faculty position) without financial assistance. As a result, families with access to generational wealth and social privilege can facilitate opportunities that those without the same means cannot. To illustrate, the recent slew of scandals and corruption in college admissions demonstrates that families with wealth are able to afford both legal and illegal routes of advantage for their children (Durkin, 2019). The ability to afford a degree without accumulating debt, purchasing of costly admissions prep services, or simply paying off someone to commit fraud is not beyond the realm of possibility for families with considerable financial advantage and power (Durkin, 2019). Conversely the lack of inherited wealth prevents many Black and Latino families from access to those (legal) advantages. As a result, Black and Latino college students are more likely to encounter significant barriers (e.g., debt and subsequent risk of dropping out due to financial constraints) while working toward undergraduate and graduate degrees (Hamilton et  al., 2015). These patterns consolidate eligibility for faculty positions to families who have historically held access to wealth and limit the representation of men and women of color along the pipeline for academic careers. Of course, higher education institutions play an important role in closing the wealth gap and creating opportunities for upward mobility for women and other historically marginalized groups, but this role is often exaggerated (Hamilton et al., 2015; Morgan & Steinbaum, 2018). Moreover, women face the added gendered social pressures around balancing the expectations around obligations to both career and family. While the traditional gendered expectations in academia are more flexible than in decades prior, the burden of balancing priorities between career and family continues to fall on women. For example, if female faculty have children, the incentives provided by higher education institutions may not offset the added financial concerns around pregnancy, parental leave, and childcare costs. For example, in an analysis of gendered salary differences in the field of academic medicine, Freund et al. (2016) found that staff who went on leave or temporarily switched to part-time work experienced significant reductions in salary compared to their counterparts (Freund et al., 2016). Moreover, early evidence suggests the pressure of caregiving responsibilities during the COVID-19

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pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, which highlights the need for further examination to prevent these gaps from widening even more (Malisch et al., 2020; Oleschuk, M., 2020). These compounded systemic factors—overemphasis on individualism, racialized structures of access to intergenerational wealth, and gendered social pressures surrounding career pathways—provide men, particularly White men, with significant advantages before any decisions around hiring or salary are even made. Men hold more positions within university leadership and have a larger role in determining the success of a potential faculty candidate (Johnson, 2017). Concurrently, White male candidates, as a result of the aforementioned systems of advantages, are overrepresented at what are historically considered ‘elite’ programs, particularly in STEM (Li & Koedel, 2017). Exploring this relationship between ‘prestige’, conceptualized as an informal network of “who hires whose graduates as faculty”, and employment outcomes, Clauset, Arbesman, and Larremore (2015) analyzed trends from 19,000 faculty members in three disciplines and found that institutional prestige predicted placement in faculty posts, the degree of influence within the discipline, and productivity. Overall, faculty hiring trends also were found to be hierarchical and inequitable and resulted in women faring worse than men across the board (Clauset et al., 2015). Representation within candidate pools is an important feature along the pipeline for faculty positions. In particular, the demographics reflected in candidate pools can offer cues about the status quo that may be difficult for hiring committees to overlook. To illustrate, empirical analyses by Johnson et al. (2016) explored hiring decisions made for candidates with the same qualifications, but where the application materials were manipulated to reflect either a stereotypically Black or White name (study 1) or a male or female candidate (study 2). If resume materials were identified as female or non-White, and they were considered the outlier (e.g., one female candidate alongside two male candidates or one non-White candidate alongside two White candidates), their chances of being selected were significantly diminished, and in some cases, ‘statistically impossible’ (Johnson et  al., 2016). This study also illustrates the great opportunity presented by expanding diversity within applicant pools, noting that the likelihood of hiring a non-White candidate was 193.72


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times greater if there were at least two non-White candidates in the finalist pool (Johnson et al., 2016). Recommendations to broaden these candidate pools will be explored in greater detail at the end of this chapter.

Inequity Maintained Through Socialization The aforementioned structures of inequity both contribute to and are upheld by social norms and behavior. Through the process of socialization, pernicious ideologies of neoliberalism—particularly the notion that individual deficit is the source of group-level pay inequities—are embedded in the values, decisions, and climates of higher education institutions. More often than not, individuals need not understand or personally ascribe to these harmful ideologies to perpetuate them. That is not to say that no faculty or university leaders overtly espouse biased or a discriminatory worldview, but rather, that it is not a prerequisite for maintaining an inequitable status quo. Research on implicit bias can help resolve this apparent discrepancy by revealing instances where gender and racial inequities persist through institutional decisions and campus culture, even in the absence of overt bigotry.

Implicit Bias Perceptions of fit, competence, and leadership are all impacted by implicit bias, the “attitudes or stereotypes that affect a person’s understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner” (Staats, 2013; Capatosto et al., 2019). When decision-makers consider who is a good ‘fit’ for a role and what salary they should earn, these notions are heavily influenced by who has previously held those roles as well as internalized attitudes and stereotypes (Rivera, 2012). Because many higher education institutions have historically lacked representation of women and people of color in leadership roles, these past inequities can be reflected within present decision-making. Implicit gender biases and stereotypes related to professionalism and leadership are well documented. One of the foundational studies on

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implicit gender bias conducted by Rudman & Kilianski (2000) at Rutgers University found that both men and women were more likely to implicitly associate men with high-authority roles, such as doctor, professor, or judge, and women with low-authority roles, such as nurse, cook, w ­ aiter/ waitress (Rudman & Kilianski, 2000). Another study found that men were more likely to associate men with positive leadership and managerial qualities (e.g., competent, productive, innovative, skilled) compared to women, even though there were no reported explicit preferences for male leaders (Latu et al., 2011). Looking beyond gender alone, a large body of scholarship on implicit racial bias demonstrates a pervasive societal preference toward White identities (Staats, 2013). To illustrate, according to more than 4 million responses between 2002 and 2020 on the Implicit Association Test (IAT), the most popular assessment of implicit racial attitudes, participants held a moderate preference for White over Black people on average (Redford, 2020; Xu et al., 2014). When controlling for the demographics of IAT takers, the majority of White participants demonstrated an implicit pro-­ White bias, while Black and bi-racial participants’ responses have been shown to be more evenly distributed (Morin, 2015; Redford, 2020). Perceptions inform reality, and these implicit attitudes about gender and race impact how hiring materials are evaluated and the subsequent decisions they inform. For example, Beattie et al. (2013) asked participants to evaluate candidates for a lecturer or administrative position and make a determination of which candidates to shortlist. They found that White evaluators were more likely to demonstrate bias toward selecting White candidates for academic, but not administrative posts (Beattie et al., 2013). These findings (unsurprisingly) align with the overall landscape in higher education roles; the more prestigious the position, the less diverse the representation. These biases do not just begin at the faculty and academic level, they are ingrained within the entire pipeline of decisions that determine candidates’ eligibility, experiences, and wages across higher education institutions. For example, a study conducted at Yale University evaluated gender bias in science departments. Researchers sent out application materials for a student lab manager position, which were identical except for the assigned gender. The study found that faculty members rated male


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applicants as more competent, more hirable, and offered a larger starting salary than (identical) female applicants (Moss-Racusin et  al., 2012). Faculty also indicated more willingness to mentor the student if they thought the student was male. Early access to fair wages and professional mentorship in one’s field of study can increase students’ interest and opportunities for a career in higher education. As a result, implicit bias along these informal pathways to higher education career represent ‘invisible’ barriers to faculty representation for women, people of color, and non-binary individuals. Without doubt, knowledge of implicit bias is an incredibly valuable tool for understanding how sexism and racism maintained through interpersonal and social forces. Nonetheless, there are limitations of focusing purely on implicit bias as a way to understand and prevent discrimination in higher education, particularly if there is an overemphasis on the role of individual attitudes, behaviors, and decisions at the expense of institutional change. One of these limitations is the lack of consistency and standardization for what an implicit bias intervention or training actually entails. Consider the following scenario, which illustrates trainings’ variability of content, method of delivery, and theory of change. You are a member of a search committee tasked with hiring a new faculty member. University leaders expressed the goal to improve gender and racial diversity in leadership roles. As a result, the committee has decided to participate in an implicit bias training to help ensure that the hiring process is conducted in an equitable and inclusive manner. You are asked to decide which of two trainings your committee should attend: Training 1: Raise Awareness The training is primarily focused on raising awareness of what implicit bias is and demonstrating the effects of implicit bias on hiring decisions. The training emphasizes individual change, and participants engage in an exploration of relevant research and personal reflection as a way to interrupt their own biases in decision-making. Training 2: Increase Access

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The goal of training is to expand access to underrepresented groups at discrete decision points. By acknowledging that implicit bias is a part of the status quo, the training provides examples of practices and policies that can improve access within the hiring process—such as blind resume review or designing hiring rubrics in a way that avoids stereotyped notions of fit. These examples illustrate how two training sessions can be marketed as having comparable content and end results but be conducted in dramatically different ways. While neither is the perfect approach, the second focuses more on decision-making practices, which have the potential to build structures of accountability that reach beyond the individual alone. This example, of course, is not exhaustive of the multitude of factors at play. A variety of interpersonal and institutional dynamics influence the outcomes of implicit bias training or diversity and inclusion (D&I) professional development experiences. For example, a preventative training is very different from a training that is implemented in response to a high-profile incident of gender discrimination or harassment. Considering the full scope of complex social processes that contribute to inequity, universities should also be wary of frameworks or interventions that propose to bring about institutional change merely by appealing to individual-level attitudes or behaviors. To illustrate the limitations of this theory of change, a meta-analysis of 492 studies about procedures designed to change implicit attitudes by Forscher et al. (2019) found that even in the rare case when implicit measures changed, this relationship was relatively weak and did not correspond to a change in behavior (Forscher et al., 2019). That is not to say we should do away with these types of engagements altogether. Professional development that provides information on the structural and social dynamics that contribute to gender gaps can still be incredibly valuable for challenging socialized inequity. However, educational institutions that are looking to make a meaningful impact against sexism and racism must move beyond approaches that focus purely on awareness-raising and changing attitudes. Instead, they should also commit to investing additional time and resources toward institutional change and accountability for acts of harm.


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 dditional Considerations: Microaggressions A and Other Organizational Dynamics Barriers to pay equity do not only manifest along formal decision points such as applications, hiring processes, and professional development opportunities. Women must also navigate frequent interpersonal slights and stereotypes that adversely impact workplace climate and limit one’s ability to thrive. Microaggressions, defined as the “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership”, are one of the ways that bias manifests (Sue, 2010). Microaggressions can take many forms, but a common theme is their tendency to undermine the perception of women’s competence and institutional value (Guzman et al., 2010). For example, women experience the tension of walking the line of gender norms between competency and likability—working much harder to be seen as equally proficient as their male counterparts while simultaneously being penalized for behaviors to assert their competence (Cuddy et al., 2004; Eagly & Mladinic, 1994). Women of color often experience additional stereotypes related to professionalism and competence. To illustrate, a climate survey of women in science revealed that almost 47% of Latina and 48% of Black women scientists reported being mistaken for administrative or custodial workers (Williams et al., 2014). Barriers to gender equity can also occur through ostensibly benevolent institutional practices, such as the appointment to a diversity committee or being asked to take on mentorship roles for other female students. Because many of these ‘opportunities’ provide no additional compensation or direct pathways to leadership in exchange for the expectation of additional work, those who endure discrimination and structural barriers based on their identities are disproportionally impacted. Women, particularly women of color, must balance these expectations to provide uncompensated labor to areas of the university that are under-resourced alongside the added pressures to be productive in a fruitful field of study. For example, Harley (2008) supports that Black women on the tenure

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track and other female faculty of color are encouraged to take on additional teaching, research, and service responsibilities as the ‘go-to’ person for campus diversity initiatives (Harley, 2008). At the same time, this disproportionate effort spent toward diversity-focused research and engagement may not be seen as lucrative or deserving of tenure (Jimenez et al., 2019; Turner et al., 2011). Importantly, there is a need to underscore that organizational leadership opportunities have also empowered women to create agency within the apparatus of higher education. Women have used these platforms for personal advancement, building affinity spaces, and driving investment toward pay parity. By highlighting the tightrope that women walk when contributing to scholarship and service, higher education institutions should be prompted to create better incentives for women to pursue these opportunities without the additional costs of microaggressions, lack of institutional support, and discrimination.

Moving Forward As higher education institutions look toward solutions to address gendered pay gaps, they must meaningfully address the complex history of interrelated structures and socialization processes that produce these inequities. To do so, this chapter argues for the adoption of an intersectional approach to access and inclusion that focuses on both race and gender—as well as a multitude other dimensions of social identity. Ultimately, institutions must go beyond awareness and build accountability into their organizational and reporting structures through a courageous investment in strategies and supports (Capatosto et  al., 2019). And, while we still do not know the long-term impacts of COVID-19, it is clear that colleges and universities could benefit from taking a multifaceted approach to address these emerging challenges. It is paramount that higher education institutions address the entire pathway of inequity. As a result, the recommendations span across the following five foci along this pipeline: (1) evaluation and accountability; (2) recruitment and representational diversity; (3) culture and retention; (4) leadership and mentoring; and (5) affordability.


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The discussion of solutions will build on the prior analysis and illustrate where higher education institutions should begin their self-­ assessment. Literature in each of the focus areas may not always ‘directly’ address issues of pay inequity but relate to the systemic forces and socialization that make it more difficult for women and women of color to meaningfully engage, advocate, and experience the benefits of their roles in higher education.

Evaluation and Accountability All solutions should begin with an emphasis on the evaluation of accountability since these tenants are fundamental for the success of every other approach. Promising ideas without mechanisms for evaluation and follow-­through will not be sustainable, and institutions cannot be held accountable for issues of gender and racial pay gaps if they are not being measured. Accountability begins with transparency. Raw data or detailed reports about wages should be accessible and have the ability for users to explore the intersections of identity. For example, higher education institutions can elect to participate in the aforementioned AAUP Faculty compensation survey and use the interactive portal from Inside Higher Education to generate comparisons and benchmarks (Inside Higher Ed., 2018). Higher education institutions can also self-assess their internal reporting mechanisms on pay equity by asking what staff and faculty demographics are included in salary reports—for example, is there an ability to disaggregate based on gender and race? Moreover, it is important to expand who has access to the data on pay gaps by race and gender for staff and faculty with comparable titles as a means to improve transparency and also to generate scholarship. As we further illustrate examples to create change within programmatic and structural endeavors, higher education institutions must ensure that accountability is interwoven within all approaches, rather than seeing it as a separate focus or benchmark.

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Recruitment and Representational Diversity Representation matters. To summarize content from earlier in this chapter, power and representational diversity often share an inverse relationship in higher education—on average, roles and positions that hold more influence are also whiter and more male-dominated (Li & Koedel, 2017). Oftentimes, job advertisements are the first point of access for potential staff and faculty. Therefore, it is important to examine how this touchpoint may work to improve or serve as a barrier to diversity efforts. As a first step, university leadership can examine how positions have been advertised in the past and take steps to identify gaps that limit outreach to women, especially women of color. Higher education institutions should also use a race- and gender-conscious lens of the job posting portal itself and hold staff accountable for using equitable and inclusive language in advertisements. For example, does the posting include gender-­specific pronouns or other language that signals gender norms? When applicants submit their information, are there ways to self-identify their gender, racial, or ethnic identities? These questions are not meant to be exhaustive, but they provide examples of what university leaders can ask themselves in order to construct a more inclusive platform for how applicants encounter the university. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, many faculty positions are offered through existing connections to informal professional networks even before a formal application is pursued. By relying on long-standing professional networks, it is incredibly difficult for universities to avoid creating an applicant pool that reflects the current, inequitable status quo. To illustrate, Smith et al. (2004) performed an analysis of nearly 700 faculty searches conducted at three large public universities that identified two factors related to successful recruitment of faculty of color at predominantly-­white institutions (PWIs) (Smith et  al., 2004). First is whether the job posting featured a scholarly link to diversity and inclusion, such as the position being hosted in an ethnic studies program, or includes research inequity into study ‘race relations’ (Smith et al., 2004). Second is whether the institution intervened to bypass or enhance the


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traditional search process, such as a spousal hire, or a targeted posting for diversity-related fields (Smith et al., 2004). These data illustrate the common adage that institutions cannot expect new outcomes by deferring to old practices. Instead, universities should take steps to gather feedback from applicants by including questions about where applicants learned of the opportunity, or by calling for greater transparency with the use of search firms, which are often utilized for executive positions. Higher education institutions should also seek to partner with search firms or organizations that have diversity and equity embodied within their mission to assist with recruitment outreach and to build more equitable employment pipelines. To aid this endeavor, colleges and universities can require that search firms provide information about their placement and retention rates disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and gender in order to be considered. Beyond widening the applicant pool through intentional recruitment efforts to attract diverse candidates, higher education institutions must also take steps to remove bias and discrimination from the hiring process. The prior example of the various functions of implicit bias trainings already touched on ways to develop bias-conscious recruitment procedures, such as blind review. Additionally, ensuring that recruitment committees themselves are diverse can be helpful for eliminating gender and racial biases in a group-defined notion of fit. When forming these committees, colleges and universities should also implement professional development opportunities around the effects of bias in the recruitment process in order to debunk the myth that a lack of diversity is due to individual-level deficits or inexperience (Guzman et al., 2010). However, mere identity representation, of course, is not enough to interrupt the wide array of systemic factors that contribute to gendered and racial pay gaps. We have to challenge the mistaken notion that pay equity will be achieved once a ‘critical mass’ of gender minorities, people of color, and so on are represented within the institution. Instead, we should emphasize the importance of retention, leadership opportunities, and overall campus climate as important institutional drivers of equity.

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Culture and Retention Like all of the structures mentioned in this chapter, culture is often defined at the policy level and maintained through socialization and interpersonal interaction, and both policy and practice must be addressed in order to create more equitable higher education spaces. The importance of the role of federal government to protect students, staff, and faculty from gender discrimination through mechanisms such as Title IX, which protects individuals from sex-based education settings that receive federal financial assistance, cannot be overstated (Education Amendments Act of 1972, 2018). However, we should also push higher education institutions to move beyond a mere compliance model to create a safe, productive, and equitable campus climate by going above and beyond the letter of the law. For example, universities can expand and update their policies on paid maternity and paternity leave to reduce barriers for staff to re-enter the workforce following the birth or adoption of a child. Higher education institutions must go deeper than the policy level to uphold lasting change toward gender equity. This is especially relevant because many factors, such as the aforementioned microaggressions faced by women, particularly Black and Latina women, may not reach the point of an official policy violation but still have a negative impact on professional access and well-being (Carroll, 2017; Sue et  al., 2011; Williams et al., 2014). As a result, an important component to bridge this gap between policy and practice is the ability of human resource staff to identify and mediate instances of racial and gender bias and conflict. To self-assess, higher education institutions should ask, “Do human resource staff have a foundational understanding about implicit bias or the role of historic inequities on higher education dynamics?” More importantly, are staff at various levels equipped to identify bias and address when it occurs? Moreover, policies and practices, like the examples above, should not just address the negative spectrum of experiences (i.e., ensure that staff and faculty are free from discrimination or harm) but they should also provide guaranteed opportunities for staff and faculty that are beneficial for their advancement and professional growth, such as the right to a pay


K. Capatosto

equity review, professional mentorship, or access to affinity spaces. Higher education institutions should actively engage in efforts to build a healthy culture so that staff and faculty of all identities are able to come to their workplaces with their full selves. When moving beyond self-assessment toward implementing solutions, interpersonal dynamics that uphold and inequitable culture should be addressed through multi-tiered approaches such as professional development, providing an explicit commitment to equitable and inclusive culture within the strategic plan, or defining clear processes for documenting and resolving microaggressions. Staff and faculty at all levels should also have agency in determining what aspects of workplace climate are most important to address. Higher education institutions should engage staff and faculty through surveys, focus groups, or other forms of data collection to identify root causes and solutions for improving retention and well-being.

Leadership and Mentoring Despite explicit commitments to equity, informal pipelines to leadership may still operate as a ‘boys club’ where pathways to advancement are typically made through male-dominant social networks and may lack transparency. Clearly identified opportunities for advancement can be even more limited in fields where women and people of color have been historically underrepresented. For example, research on the sources of the gender gap in STEM careers shows that women may experience less encouragement and mentorship than their male counterparts to pursue a career in the field (Knezek et  al., 2015). Women of color face compounded stressors of having to disprove stereotypes pertaining to both their gender and race by consistently providing evidence of their skills (Knezek et al., 2015; Williams et al., 2014). Mentorship opportunities can also be oriented around the shared experiences of navigating university dynamics from a particular marginalized identity through what are referred to as affinity spaces or ‘employee resource groups’ (Welbourne et al., 2017). In particular, there is promising emergent research demonstrating the benefit of affinity spaces to

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support the experience of women faculty of color at PWIs (Columbia Social Work Review, 2020; Pour-Khorshid, 2018; Welbourne et  al., 2017). These benefits are not always directly related to pay equity but have the potential to reduce the added stressors associated with gendered and racial socialization of inequity mentioned earlier in this chapter. In particular, the presence of discrimination-based stress has been shown to relate to lower research productivity for academics of color, which is an important factor for determining advancement in the academy (Eagan & Garvey, 2015). Addressing these issues, Comer et al. (2017) reported that members of natural support groups helped women of color manage stress and validate their professional value (Comer et al., 2017). Other qualitative research provides evidence that affinity spaces that provided an avenue for faculty to “use their voice” can serve as a buffer against negative experiences of racism and isolation that Black women faced while working toward tenure (Kelly & Winkle-Wagner, 2017).

Affordability To reiterate, the current landscape of racial and gender pay gaps do not just emerge at the point of hiring and agreeing upon a salary, they are part of a larger pipeline of systemic forces of marginalization. This chapter mentions access to intergenerational wealth as a key driver of access to higher education opportunities that result in a high-earning academic position. While affordability is one of the most important factors affecting racial and gender inequity in higher education, it is also the most difficult for any single university to address. Our society needs more leadership in this realm to address mounting concerns of financial access, which requires a concerted effort of public institutions both across and outside the higher education system. Higher education institutions are well positioned to lead this charge. For example, scholarship offices can generate more sustained investment toward helping women, people of color, and other underrepresented students finance their education. Faculty members can leverage their research to identify strategies to expand college access that can be adopted by policymakers. University leaders can join multi-institution coalitions committed to addressing


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college affordability. Importantly, leadership status is not a prerequisite to implementing change, and university staff at all levels can empower and engage students and community members who are advocating for these issues.

Conclusion Gender pay gaps in higher education are indicative of broader systemic inequities, and the transformation of this system requires bold ideas and strong leadership. It is important to reiterate that continued investment in disrupting the pipelines of inequity and bias described in this chapter has resulted in women and gender minorities earning broader representation in higher education leadership than in decades prior. However, the research is clear that there is still much room for improvement, and that representation has often not been rewarded with comparable pay or value within the institution. Women, people of color, and gender minorities often bear the responsibility of implementing solutions to counteract the very systems that oppress them. As a result, changing the status quo means disrupting the balance of power—both within higher education and our broader social structures. Those with privilege must abandon its trappings in order to accomplish the goal and strategies outlined in this chapter, and this battle is not easily won. Our society is at a critical juncture of re-evaluating the value of a higher education as these data reveal that a career in academia is not the panacea for achieving equity that many were led to believe. In light of the issues inherent with neoliberal model that overemphasizes individual effort at the expense of long-term solutions, it is necessary to prioritize systemic approaches. At the fundamental core, this means believing women, gender minorities, and people of color are the best advocates, scholars, and leaders of their (our) own experiences. Women and gender minority ‘issues’ are not a separate designation or placeholder on a strategic agenda. Gender and racial equity are values that will govern the future of our education institutions and, by consequence, our social values.

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Acknowledgments  The author would like to thank Dr. Darrick Hamilton for his editorial guidance, suggestions, and consultation. Additional thanks to Dr. Suparna Bhaskaran and Dr. Kathy Lechman for their feedback and support.

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10 #SocialEquityMatters: A Multimodal Approach to Strengthening Student Success Through Innovation Bernard A. Polnariev and Mitchell A. Levy

Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance wheel of the social machinery. —Horace Mann, 1848

Introduction Community colleges are beacons of hope, opportunity, and social equity. They provide academic programs and support services which serve as conduits to student success. Although the community college mission varies widely and is broad, at its core, these institutions of higher education are driven by student success and community transformation. B. A. Polnariev (*) Union County College, Cranford, NJ, USA e-mail: [email protected] M. A. Levy SOAR Consulting, LLC, Wilmington, DE, USA © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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Largely funded by the state or private sources, most community colleges have a real and vital connection to the local community. Community colleges have a fundamental role in delivering re-skilling opportunities, especially for those most impacted by the pandemic and resulting economic downturn (Beer & Bray, 2020). By providing increased opportunities for educational access and career development, open-access colleges present diverse pathways allowing previously marginalized students to accomplish their individual goals—whether these include learning English as Second Language (ESL), assessing their interests and values to determine an informed career or transfer path, or completing a short-­ term certificate or stackable credentials to foster increased financial security. Additionally, community colleges afford underrepresented, nontraditional, and first-generation students an opportunity to transform their sense of self-efficacy and vision of what is possible. Therefore, community colleges serve as a priceless bridge to social and economic survival for over five million students and their families annually (National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 2019). It is important to note that the nomenclature “community college” (alternatively referred to as “technical college,” “junior college,” and more often today as simply “college”) is not inclusive and there are many variations which describe similar levels of education, especially internationally. Beyond the American walls, there are various forms of higher education and training colleges. In India, for example, there is a range of community college types, including “polytechnics,” which offer associate degree, “community colleges” which offer skills courses for the underprivileged, and “adult education centers” which deliver literacy, life skills, and occupational training. In the United Kingdom, “further education colleges” are comprehensive institutions though primarily offering technical and vocational schooling and training; they also offer “sixth form colleges” which resemble community colleges and allow students to study for advanced school-level qualifications. They typically offer higher education qualifications in associations with universities. Interestingly, Brazil and Germany for example do not seem to have an institution comparable to the community college because most technical and vocational training is conducted via partnerships between states and companies in a wide range of facilities (Land & Aitchison, 2017).

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According to Mechur Karp and her colleagues, “through open admissions policies, comparatively lower tuition, geographic proximity to home communities, and flexible opportunities for those with employment or family commitments, community and technical colleges offer an invaluable pathway to postsecondary education, often for students otherwise unlikely to enroll in higher education” (Mechur Karp et al., 2020, p.  7). In 2016, 44% of all enrolled Hispanic students and 35% of all enrolled Black students attended community colleges (Shapiro et  al., 2016). Approximately half of dependent students with annual family incomes below $30,000 started at a community college during the 2011–2012 academic year (National Center for Education Statistics, 2014; U.S.  Department of Education, 2020). During the 2015–2016 academic year, 62% of all full-time enrolled community college students, and 72% of those attending part time, were managing college while also employed (American Association of Community Colleges, 2020). Results from 13,000 community college students based on a survey conducted by the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in America revealed that more than 80% of all respondents—including Black/African American, Hispanic, and White students—“felt supported by their colleges overall,” and in specific areas like providing “enough information to help with the transition, responding to instructor questions within 24 hours, and clearly explaining class expectations” (Finkel, 2020, p.  2). However, students also expressed difficulties in fully engaging in online learning that especially impacted Black/African American and Hispanic students (ibid.). More than one-third (36.1%) of Black/African American students said they lacked access to a dependable computer, compared with 23.8% of Hispanic students, and 14.2% of White students. Almost half (46.4%) of Black/African American students said they had to share a computer with others, along with 36.7% of Hispanic students and 23.3% of White students (ibid.). And nearly one-third of Black (30.5%) and Hispanic (31.1%) students lacked access to reliable internet service, along with nearly one-quarter (24.6%) of White students. More than 70% of students of all backgrounds said they were concerned about feeling isolated, and 67.1% of Blacks/African Americans, 59.9% of Hispanics, and 44.3% of Whites reported that they were concerned about food insecurity (ibid.).


B. A. Polnariev and M. A. Levy

According to New York University Professor Scott Galloway, the pandemic has and will continue to increase income inequality for many Americans. He posited via a podcast that if you’re making over $100,000 a year, there is a 60% chance that you can work from home and only a ten percent likelihood that you’ve been laid off. If you’re making less than $40,000 a year only 10 percent of those people can work from home, and over 40 percent of them have been laid off. (cited by Erickson, 2020)

The COVID-19 outbreak widened the equity gaps between the privileged and underprivileged—a societal trend accelerated and intensified by this pandemic (Galloway, 2020). Clearly, social resiliency is critical for community college students to “stay on path” toward their academic, career, and economic goals. As Villareal (2020) stated, “resilience comes in many forms, but we commonly understand it as the ability to recover quickly from difficulty and bounce back…social resilience contributes to a quicker recovery and encourages student success” (p. 1). It is incumbent upon academic administrators and faculty to be “student-­ready” and holistically support student resilience and success as part of an equity agenda. The multitude of challenges to resiliency, including employment, family, academic, and personal responsibilities managed simultaneously by community college students, calls for an increased commitment to the data-informed design, implementation, and assessment of innovative approaches. This approach would provide equitable and inclusive support programs, which would facilitate the greatest likelihood of student success. Institutions that provide holistic academic advising and new student orientation, including the infusion of career development into academic curricula, granting experiential learning opportunities, integrating retention efforts into academic support, and using data and other forms of evidence to inform service enhancement, are significantly more likely to help students achieve their goals while helping institutions achieve theirs (Levy & Polnariev, 2016). With respect to social mobility, this approach is imperative as graduates with an associate’s degree make, on average, $10,000 more per year than those with only a high school diploma. Higher education achievement also

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correlates with better health, greater civic participation, and more tax dollars collected (Mellow & Heelan, 2008; Baum et al., 2013). Federal and state education attainment goals—including, for example, Lumina Foundation’s target of “60% of Americans with an education credential by 2025” and Tennessee’s Drive to 55 by 2025—are heavily dependent on the expanded access to community colleges. For Tennessee, this ambitious goal is not just a mission for postsecondary education, but a mission for the state’s future workforce and economic development (Tennessee Department of Education, 2018). Regrettably, the retention and graduation rates of underrepresented students from low socio-economic environments remain disturbingly low, especially at community colleges (Levy & Polnariev, 2016). Many of the traditional models of student success are not effective, and therefore fail to serve the needs of minority students and their families. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education has emphasized that “student success can only be attained through integrated and sustained strategies and programs that are part of an institutional culture” (2012, p. 25 as cited by Casazza & Silverman, 2013, p. 14). In the preface of their book addressing college student success, Castleman and his colleagues argued that to diminish financial barriers and improve academic preparation, both systemic change and significant ongoing investment are required (Castleman et al., 2015). However, operationalizing and facilitating student success can pose a particular set of challenges when many students are either academically underprepared and/or present with multiple “overlapping” concerns such as having to work multiple jobs, having familial responsibilities, experiencing housing and food anxiety, or having cognitive, medical, and/or physical conditions requiring accommodation (Levy & Polnariev, 2016). The increase in the depth and complexity of student needs, and increased lack of services in many economically challenged communities, is taking place in a climate of increased need for institutional support regarding multiple issues related to mental health, substance abuse, cultural intolerance, sexual harassment, and domestic violence (Anderson, 2020). In addition, community colleges have a fundamental role in delivering re-skilling opportunities for those most impacted by the pandemic and resulting economic downturn (Beer & Bray, 2020). Unfortunately, while challenges to


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address increased student need due to multiple socio-cultural factors existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, community colleges are simultaneously confronted with significant decreases in funding from regional and federal sources, decreasing enrollments, mandates for increased accountability and quality of service, and evidence of efficacious outcomes. Dr. Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, stated: The single most important job higher education will be asked to do over the next few years will be getting Americans back to work. With a staggering 38 million Americans unemployed, higher education will need to be laser focused on pathways to work that are affordable, shorter term than two or four-year degrees, and in demand. Affordable because the pandemic is disproportionately impacting the working poor, such as those in the restaurant and hotel industries, where the average annual salary is $30,000 (including tips). Fast, because the majority of the unemployed have little to no savings, so do not have the luxury of two or four years of retooling. In demand, because the poor have no buffer for making the wrong choice of field or for exploring possibilities. (LeBlanc, 2020, p. 1)

Given the myriad social, economic, and cultural factors which can create intersectional impediments to student success, especially among underrepresented, marginalized, and at-risk populations, it is essential that systemic, cross-functional, and equity-driven approaches to improving learning outcomes and decreasing achievement gaps are implemented. Learning experiences should be integrated into a comprehensive whole for all students. Collaboration among faculty across departments and student affairs staff—including advisors, career specialists, and other college educators who work daily to assist students in making—will help drive social equity (Humphreys, 2013, as cited in Suskie, 2015, p. 81). In Keeling’s seminal (2004) paper on student success, he recommended that “presidents and senior officers in both academic and student affairs must adopt a partnership model that expects and rewards collaborations among all campus educators for student learning” (p. 33). Furthermore, to become an “engaged citizen,” college stakeholders must “sensitively and effectively convey values of equity and social justice” (Keeling, 2004, p.  31). In support of this critical discussion, this chapter presents

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numerous innovative and replicable approaches to fostering student resiliency and success among community college students by proactively addressing the many challenges which have been accelerated by the pandemic.

 romising Practices for Social Equity P and Justice In addition to four-year and graduate-level higher education institutions, both authors have collectively worked at numerous community colleges designated as either Minority Serving Institutions and/or Hispanic-­ Serving Institutions for 30+ years in both student and academic affairs. Fundamentally, we have focused on supporting traditionally underserved and marginalized students to help them realize their academic and social goals—positively altering the trajectories of their lives, families, and communities. For example, the authors’ collaborative efforts toward bolstering social equity at LaGuardia Community College, one of the most diverse colleges in the country, have helped thousands of students identify and address inequality via their roles in the well-recognized CUNY ASAP program. Because community colleges are poised to inspire change for greater social justice and equity (Heelan & Mellow, 2017), a key tenet of our vision for promoting systemic equity is poignantly illustrated in a seminal (2015) book on the topic, America’s Unmet Promise: The Imperative for Equity in Higher Education. Witham and colleagues note that equality in outcomes does not mean—in fact cannot mean—treating all students as though they are the same. Rather, equitable policies and practices in higher education recognize and accommodate differences in students’ aspirations, life circumstances, ways of engaging in learning and participating in college, and identities as learners and students. (Witham et al., 2015, p. 35)

To assist readers in addressing the many divergent and emerging issues connected to the COVID-19 pandemic which intersected with and


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compounded previous institutional and environmental challenges and injustices, we summarize 15 innovative and synergistic approaches. These approaches were realized in community colleges across the United States and international educational institutions to foster social equity, accessibility, inclusion, and social justice during and beyond the pandemic in the following pages. 1. Establish an institutional COVID-19 Task Force. As guided by its president, every community college should charge a group of senior leaders who are empowered to develop, communicate, administer, and assess critical policy decisions that support instructional, personnel, and student safety practices based on the current milieu and institutional needs. For example, Chattanooga State Community College (CSCC) in Tennessee established a COVID-19 Task Force that met frequently and included representation from Academic Affairs (a faculty and a senior administrator), College Relations, Facilities, Human Resources, Information Technology, Public Safety, and Student Development. We recommend similar groups consider including a college-governance representative and at least one student for a more informed perspective. Institutions and students would further benefit from having access to regional and national repositories of policies and practices related to the pandemic, as we can all learn from, and help each other. Several national organizations such as NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA)  have taken up this call; NASPA is the organization for student affairs professionals focused on inclusive and equitable practices. NASPA’s (2021a, b, c) web-based publications and resources page provides access to current research and practical findings for a myriad of pressing issues which can be filtered by community and focus area. NASPA’s Leadership Exchange magazines from both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 specifically, provides members with a wealth of COVID-19 insights related to battling fatigue, equity, and student success post-pandemic. We also recommend that post-pandemic, COVID-19 Task Forces and related emergency groups should recalibrate their design, implementation, and assessment with current and emerging best practices aligned to the behavioral intervention team (BIT) literature. We

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advocate that the various iterations of the COVID-19 Task Forces which were necessary for most institutions to carefully support students and employees could fluidly pivot to inform strategic approaches focused on student health, wellness, and equity. For example, college leaders should consider using the “Critical Incident Review” protocols within feedback-loop methodology after significant events and interventions to identify both institutional strengths and “systemic gaps” requiring improvement (Levy, 2013, 2016). Community colleges should use the Critical Incident Review methodology to first identify the policies and procedures that contributed to successful pandemic management and postvention. Next, there should be ongoing strategic discussions regarding how these successful policies and procedures can be utilized via a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion to address inchoate issues (Levy, 2020). Furthermore, to foster enhanced cross-functional communication within and among institutions, we endorse the utilization of “TableTop Exercises” which place various college administrators and faculty in roles that are different from their current positions (Levy, 2013, 2016). 2. Pledge to be “student-centered.” In other words, every college stakeholder—including faculty, staff, and administrators must not only “believe in the students that they serve, but also commit to helping students believe in themselves,” as explicitly stated in Valencia College’s job descriptions (cited by McNair et al., 2016). According to McNair and her colleagues, to authentically be student-ready, college educators and administrators must make complicated decisions, be accountable, and directly address any prejudiced philosophies regarding student success. Lorain County Community College (LCCC) in Ohio reengineered its system from a disconnected set of courses, programs, and support services to a student-ready model with a clear road map of courses to completion with appropriate interventions and support along the student’s journey. LCCC redesigned academic advising with an emphasis on the student from a relationship-based, case-management approach from the first contact with a student through college completion (Sutton et al., 2018). The 2020 Campus Completion Plan from Columbus State Community College in Ohio points out:


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Columbus State will be student-ready for all students coming through its front door and establish connection among resources and strategies, based in its student personas, so that students will have the resources they need to be successful in college, and students who are not yet college-ready will have access to an accelerated integrated path to becoming college ready. (cited in the CSCC Board of Trustees minutes, 2020, p. 37) Furthermore, established college values must be connected to student learning and success; they should be pervasive and inclusive throughout all planning discussions and initiatives. We have found the implementation of collaborative strategic planning to be extremely effective for sustained approaches to equity. Specifically, the institutional plan should be viewed as a “living document that informs all institutional decisions and which is clearly communicated to all stakeholders” (Levy & Polnariev, 2016, p. 153). 3. Directly address equity issues. As part of their 2019–2022 Student Equity Plan retention goals, Pasadena City College (PCC) in California has supported historically marginalized student groups in higher education by further strengthening existing resources and services and determining where additional equity-minded innovations are needed. For example, they collaborated with various centers and programs to support the following student groups: Black/African American, Latinx, and LGBTTQQIAAP (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual), disabled, and undocumented to identify community-­ specific needs. PCC practices “equity-mindedness” to help recognize and address racialized structures, policies, and practices that produce and sustain racial inequities. Equity-focused policies and practices in higher education identify and account for differences in students’ goals, life circumstances, and approaches to learning and college engagement (Dowd & Bensimon, 2015). In addition, Foothill College (FC), another community college in California, crafted an Equity Strategic Plan 2020–2025. To achieve their goals, FC is utilizing a systemic approach to being “student-centered” through racial equity changes (Foothill College, 2020). 4. Distribute student emergency and food insecurity funds. Basic food and housing insecurity are greater for marginalized students, including

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Black/African Americans, and those identifying as LGBTQ (or LGBTTQQIAAP), military, former foster youth, and students who were previously convicted of crimes. Students who identify in multiple “categories” are especially at risk of basic needs insecurity (Goldrick-­Rab et al., 2019). A national survey led by Dr. Goldrick-­ Rab, which included 167,000 students across more than 100 community colleges, found that “seven in 10 community college students responding to the survey experienced food insecurity, housing insecurity, or homelessness during the previous year” (Goldrick-Rab et al., 2019, p. 12). To identify and address the numerous challenges which community college students and their families can face due to economic disparities such as homelessness and food insecurity, critical information such as that provided by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice (2020) in Philadelphia provides an excellent repository of current resources and information. Long Beach City College (LBCC) in California has a long history of helping students with greater needs, such as those who were incarcerated and homeless. LBCC received a $700,000 grant for the College Homeless and Housing Insecure pilot program from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office, which supports the college in connecting with neighborhood agencies to aid students with finding housing (St. Amour, 2021). Partnering with community organizations is vital to supporting community college students. Federal support via The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or more commonly referred to as the CARES Act allotted approximately $14 billion to the Office of Postsecondary Education as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, or HEERF (U.S.  Department of Education, 2021). With a focus on equity, these funds have supported hundreds of thousands of college students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs). Lee College in Texas established the Lee Cares Emergency Fund to provide emergency financial assistance to students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their plans utilized more than $2  million in federal stimulus funding to pay for


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students’ tuition and other fees. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) highlighted the multifaceted efforts of the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) to support their students and communities during the pandemic. The college provided nearly $1  million in CARES Act and scholarship funds directly to students with more than 1000 students receiving tuition assistance during the pandemic (CSM website, 2020). As another example, Wake Technical Community College (WTCC) in North Carolina distributed over $5 million to over 5000 students in approximately nine months (WTCC, 2021). Furthermore, CUNY’s largest community college, the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) in New York City, distributed over $150,000 raised through donations and a grant from the Robin Hood Foundation (which is one of the largest poverty-fighting organizations) to provide financial support to hundreds of students, allowing them to continue their education despite financial hardships exacerbated by the pandemic (BMCC, 2020). In addition, the NASPA organization provides a wealth of resources, including information specifically dedicated to support students’ financial wellness (NASPA, 2020). 5. Reimagine experiential learning and connect it to academic programming. Students who complete hands-on learning opportunities are more engaged, prepared, and marketable for the workforce (Redcross, 2015). Community colleges are well positioned to provide experiential opportunities given their connections with employers and community partners. Chandler Gilbert Community College (CGCC, part of the Maricopa system) in Arizona is a good example of an institution that has encouraged their students to participate in a variety of experiential learning activities. Their Food and Green Waste Recycling project is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and experiential student learning effort. More specifically, CGCC biology students partnered with the college’s marketing department to produce educational posters, and students in English classes created and conducted a series of “sustainability mindset” surveys to measure food waste recycling behaviors and attitudes (Larson, 2019). ­Metropolitan Community College (MCC) in Nebraska developed a Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology (CAET) around a variety of

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learning environments to facilitate experiential learning. CAET provides collaborative office facilities, active learning classrooms rich with digital technology, hands-on fabrication labs, and an innovation space. The CAET equipment was informed by connected employers, often mirroring the systems that students will actually engage with post-graduation. Furthermore, virtual internships and other experiential learning opportunities should be seriously explored as a viable option for students given the value of such experiences for students. Remote and project-based internships may afford greater flexibility and equity given the many competing priorities that community college students face, especially during and as a consequence of the pandemic. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in Turkey’s higher education system, as it has in most parts of the world, students were largely deprived of experiential learning and feedback from experts. Many colleges in Turkey moved to synchronous online platforms without much difficulty. Virtual experiential experiences posed a greater challenge but were largely achieved as administrators realized COVID-19’s longevity (Ersin et al., 2020). LIM College in NYC confers associate degrees among other degree levels and ensures that all graduates obtain real-world experience as part of the foundation of their educational approach. They offer three levels of experiential education and, since the pandemic, have encouraged students, faculty, and employers to embrace virtual experiential learning opportunities (Meyers, 2020). LIM launched a two-day “Fashion Forward LIVE” event grounded in virtual experiential learning activities. For example, LIM’s virtual student presentations consisted of projects that focused on branding, customer shopping experience, and sustainability. As LIM College freshman K.  Compton noted, “this new project-based internship course was a great alternative to traditional internships and something LIM students may take part in in the future regardless of the need to work or study virtually” (Compton, 2020). 6. Infuse career development and guided pathways into the curriculum. To assist students in identifying and aligning their goals and values with a specific academic and career pathway, Atlantic Cape Community


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College (ACCC) successfully employed a curricular infusion methodology. The Division of Student Affairs partnered with faculty to infuse career planning and student success into the curriculum at “critical junctures” in a student’s academic career (Dickmeyer & Michalowski, 2012; Levy & Polnariev, 2016). This initiative was implemented in computer science ESL, English, and math courses via in-person and remote methodology. Student outcome data indicated that nontraditional, underrepresented, and first-generation students engaging in informed career planning earlier in their college careers demonstrated increased retention, persistence, and higher academic performance, engagement, motivation, and graduation rates. For example, 94% of the 875 students indicated that they “learned something new” and “were more motivated to take next steps to reach their goals.” The next steps students identified were analyzed within a feedback-loop and utilized to revise institutional programming, marketing, recruitment, and planning. Clearly, aligning the curriculum with career preparation can be critically important. Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) in South Dakota has one of the most robust models displaying alignment between majors, occupations, and careers that we have ever reviewed. Informed by the needs in the state and community coupled with the job outlook data provided by the Bureau of Labor, LATI offers niche academic programs in addition to some of the typical college programs such as diesel ThinkBig Caterpillar, livestock production and management, and robotics. According to the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program summary (2021), nearly 100% of all new LATI graduates are employed within six months. LATI defines labor market outcomes as an essential element of student success. Distinctly, every academic program on its front-facing webpage identifies programspecific data, including the number of graduates, number of graduates employed, and hourly wage six months post-graduation, for example (LATI Academics, 2021). Industry and job preparation are intimately intertwined into their institutional fabric. LATI students are succeeding in large part due to both what happens inside their classrooms and because regional employers have invested in their success. These businesses offer current curricular counsel, student

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internships, and the necessary equipment such as a remote weather station for agricultural students and robots for manufacturing students, for example (Daniels & Miller, 2017). 7. Invest in professional development for faculty. Institutions must continually find ways to provide faculty with learning and leadership opportunities which are connected to emerging institutional priorities. Such support pays dividends by advancing student success and equity in addition to faculty morale and effectiveness. Broward College (BC) in Florida fostered quality teaching through professional development by partnering with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). Employing an evidence-based approach to improve teaching practices, ACUE helps instructors bolster student engagement, retention, and learning. Through this partnership, students who were taught by an ACUE-credentialed BC faculty were more likely to complete and pass their courses, with attainment outcomes being significantly larger for Black/African American and low-­income students. For Black/African American students, the gap in course completion was virtually non-existent and the gap in passing rates was halved compared to White students. The gap in pass rates for Pell-eligible students (i.e., a proxy for lowincome households) was eliminated and more significant impacts were seen on course completion rates as compared to students who were not Pell-eligible (Association of College and University Educators, 2020). 8. Reimagine the academic semester. Odessa College (OC) in Texas transformed their traditional 16-week term into 8-week term for more than 80% of their offered courses several years ago. This significant change at OC helped increase enrollment, persistence, and credit attainment toward an academic credential (Odessa College, 2019). For low-income part-time students, the transition to 8-week courses has permitted more students to attain federal financial aid. In a (2019) whitepaper on OC’s initiatives in support of recognition by the Aspen Foundation, they noted that a few years since the change to 8-week terms, the percent of first-time, full-time (FT/FT) s­ tudents registering for 12 or more credits in their first semester has increased from approximately 22% to 32% (ibid.).


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9. Ensure that students have “sufficient” technology access. Coconino Community College (CCC) in Arizona serves a large segment of the Navajo Nation reservation. Nearly 6000 CCC students live in some of the most remote areas of the nation, many have no cellular service to access online information, and are considerably distant from the campus, libraries, and shops to access free internet. CCC is one of many colleges throughout the country that has struggled to engage students without the internet via online access after the pandemic closed its campuses. Arguably, approximately 6% or 19  million Americans do not have access to dependable high-speed internet; the rates for people in rural areas are significantly worse with nearly one-­ quarter of them without said access (Federal Communications Commission, 2018). Globally, approximately half of the world or 3.8 billion people do not have access to the internet (Dreyfuss, 2018). Coconino’s challenges may be more austere than most colleges, considering that some students living on tribal land have been subject to reservation-wide lockdowns during the pandemic. As a short-term solution, CCC instructors made their lectures and materials accessible for download whenever students were able to obtain the internet and worked closely with them to ensure they can complete courses (McLean, 2020). The impact of the pandemic was devastating to many students in parts of Africa. Given the developing educational infrastructure and limited internet in sub-Saharan Africa, their schools leveraged alternative educational tools. Specifically, they implemented “multimodal responses using a variety of media such as radio, television, and mobile phones apart from the internet to reach all students, and especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not have access to materials online” (Woodon, 2020, pp. 64–65). According to 2019 data noted in an article, “Unequal Costs of the Digital Divide,” nearly 60% of households in the city of Pharr, Texas, had no broadband subscription (Williams June, 2020). The “digital divide” between the poor and “not-poor” is pervasive. Chancellor Félix Matos Rodriguez from the City University of New  York (CUNY) eloquently addressed equity issues early in the pandemic at a March 30 CUNY Board of Trustees meeting.

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He noted that the move to distance education accentuated broader issues of equity and access in higher education, and the effects of these disparities that we at CUNY are always working to combat. We quickly realized that we needed to address a palpable digital divide, a problem that stood to keep thousands of our students from completing their academic requirements. To that end, the Central Office with the support of Governor Cuomo, moved swiftly to purchase 30,000 laptops and tablets. (CUNY Board of Trustee minutes, 2020, p. 43) Providing these computers to CUNY students helped to narrow the disparities in accessible technology which exist for many urban, low-­ income students. 1 0. Provide virtual learning resources. Nearly all institutions of higher education transitioned teaching and student support services to partial or fully online in 2020, and likely beyond. Pierce College (PC) in the state of Washington focused on maintaining tutoring and mentoring support via remote methodologies. The PC website indicates that their offices will remain accessible by phone, email, and through the Peer Academic Support Services (PASS) Canvas course (Pierce College, 2020). Students were able to meet with tutors and mentors via video, audio, or chat while uploading and sharing documents, schedule appointments, and explore resources through the virtual PASS Zoom Room. Tutoring and mentoring sessions were conducted in PC’s “Cranium Café” using webcams and microphones to make the experience as seamless as possible. The goal is to provide flexible modalities and resources to support student success. Davies and his colleagues (2020) provided a comparison of innovative approaches to teaching English online at four institutions based in China. These institutions transitioned instruction from face-to-­face to virtual pedagogy and andragogy with varying results. For courses with a focus on writing, the researchers found that asynchronous discussion forums may be appropriate to reinforce critical academic reading and writing skills. However, for courses focusing on oral communication skills, then discussions that use audio and


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video responses are more appropriate to reinforce listening and speaking skills. They shared and evaluated several tools that have helped support their students during the pandemic, including Flipgrid, Sakai, Voicethread, and Zoom, for example (Davies et al., 2020). 1 1. Deliver digital book access. Ivy Tech Community College, identified as the largest public postsecondary institution in Indiana and the largest “singly accredited” statewide community college system in the country, partnered with Cengage to provide all 90,000 students with digital access to textbooks and course materials through Cengage Unlimited (St. Amour, 2020). The substantial financial burden imposed on community college students has consequently hindered learning for many who purchase the required textbooks either late into the semester or do not purchase the books at all. According to The College Board, the average American undergraduate student spends over $1200 a year on books and other related supplies (Powell & Kerr, 2020). Colleges would be well-served to expand the use of open textbooks and or commercial digital learning materials in order to achieve savings for students enrolled at their institution (Keating, 2016). To address accessibility issues regarding course materials, Ocean County College (OCC) in New Jersey moved to a single-payment model for books, tuition, and fees starting with the fall 2020 semester. The adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) textbooks greatly reduced the overall costs of books for students and this strategy promises to either maintain stable pricing of textbooks if prices significantly increase or reduce the overall cost of textbooks as part of a single payment. The College reported positive preliminary student feedback. In addition, OCC transitioned to the popular subject guide platform, LibGuides. The OCC library created new subject guides and is working on transferring older subject guides to LibGuides formats. For example, a LibGuides for ebooks was created to help students understand how to best utilize the library’s individually purchased and database collections of ebooks. In addition, OCC’s e-learning division (which is separate from its academic affairs

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division) worked closely with librarians to add OER materials to its courses (Marler, 2020). 1 2. Expand and enhance distance education. Far from a panacea, one of the many advantages of distance or online education is that students with compromised mobility can significantly reduce the challenges of campus and classroom travel (Glantz & Gamrat, 2020). Significant advances in technology have made online education more student-­ friendly. As noted in a Harvard Business Review article, distance education became the default approach in 2020 that evolved from video conferencing of the late 1990s, with most colleges presenting “remote learning” classes with posted materials and college via Zoom or other virtual platforms (Gallagher & Palmer, 2020). Technological advancements have made it possible for college leaders and the policymakers to make online learning a much more central strategic priority. Consequently, distance learning is an imperative modality to support students and remains a viable entity post-­COVID-­19. The advantages provided by distance learning modalities for community college students are numerous, including increased accessibility, flexibility with respect to other responsibilities, and cost (Dhawan, 2020). Distance education is no longer “an option, it is a necessity” (sic; ibid., p. 7). Some institutions have genuinely leveraged this crisis as an opportunity to maximize e-learning. Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC) in Pennsylvania received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand access to distance learning and produce flexible, virtual student support services. WCCC collaborated with its IT department and listened to student feedback as part of the process (Guth, 2020). They creatively enhanced and expanded the types of distance education offerings, which now include courses that are fully online, blended/hybrid, web-­ conferencing, live remote instruction, and blended live remote instruction (WSCC, 2020). Since the pandemic, every classroom in the United Kingdom’s Brampton College (BC) is equipped with ceiling cameras and advanced IT capacity to safeguard that teaching is as seamless and as comprehensive as possible. BC’s technologyenhanced infrastructure has proven to be a great success (Brampton


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College, 2020). Hurricane Katrina (occurring in 2005) served as a catalyst for online learning growth at Delgado Community College (DCC) in Louisiana. Specifically, they adopted a HyFlex (i.e., Hybrid + Flexible) approach which empowers students to choose the frequency with which they come to campus, if at all (Samuel et  al., 2019). Based on DCC’s experience, the Hyflex program received evaluation ratings indicating great satisfaction among both faculty and students; this approach allowed the college to increase student retention while affording it a more advantageous position with the local business continuity in the event of a natural disaster (ibid.). It is important to remember the additional constraints for in-person classes which must be put in place during the pandemic given the necessary restrictions. In India, on the basis of college educators’ experiences of teaching online during the pandemic, results suggested the need for further engagement with digital tools and representational software on integrated platforms. There was consensus about the future potential of blended learning and advocates have developed an integrated framework and curriculum for education in India (Das & Das, 2020). 1 3. Commit to comprehensive approaches to retention. CUNY’s Accelerated Studies in Associate Programs (ASAP) initiative is an excellent example of a comprehensive student success program grounded in equity. ASAP began in 2007 as an initiative set forward by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and funded by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity. Participating ASAP students receive wrap-­ around academic and financial support services that include academic advisors, career specialists, tutors, faculty, and resources such as transit passes, textbook vouchers, and tuition coverage for fees not covered by financial aid. ASAP team members support their assigned caseload of students through graduation. Persistent and proactive support helps keep many students enrolled full-time and consequently graduating in a timely fashion. A comprehensive program evaluation report conducted by MDRC in 2015 found that ASAP’s outcomes were the largest effects for a community college intervention that they had researched (Scrivener et al., 2015). ASAP students receive critical “just-in-time” information through frequent proac-

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tive advisement (Varney, 2012) and a cohort-based first-year seminar—both practices are recognized as effective retention interventions (Clark & Cundiff, 2011). These students are continually engaged in curricular and co-curricular activities led by ASAP staff and ultimately have an increased feeling that they belong and are consistently supported. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government announced CUNY’s ASAP as the recipient of its 2020 Innovations in American Government Award (Harsha, 2020). To date, ASAP made an enormous impact on the lives of over 58,000 associate degree-­ seeking CUNY students and their families (ibid.). 14. Invest in increasing student graduation rates. Through a relentless focus on graduation and equity, Union County College (UCC) in New Jersey leveraged “extreme cohort-management.” In other words, UCC provided intensive and continuous support to students who belonged to various college groups, including American Honors, athletes, Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), and peer-tutors, for example. UCC created a small cadre of dedicated advisors to annually engage with every FT/FT degree-seeking students to ensure their progress toward graduation. According to their posted Annual Institutional Profiles (FY 2015 with 2011 cohort vs. FY 2020 with 2016 cohort data), UCC’s three-year graduation rate increased from 6.6% to 25.9% among Black/African American students and from 6.9% to 32.5% among Hispanic/Latino students (UCC, 2020). To achieve these completion rates, commitment from all institutional constituents was critical—from advisors to administrators, from facilities to faculty, and from public safety officers to development officers. Everyone’s job at the college is to facilitate graduation! 1 5. Employ a holistic approach to student success. The authors strongly recommend that community colleges consider aligning their efforts to increase enrollment and retention to the work of colleges that have completed models such as Achieving the Dream (ATD, n.d.). Employing assessment-loop methodology, ACCC in New Jersey utilized data to inform institutional revisions in strategic financial planning, curriculum design, program development, marketing, and recruitment. ACCC’s comprehensive approach to student success


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contributed to its recognition as a Leader College by the ATD consortium and recipient of the Leah Meyer Austin award for attaining three years of significant outcomes in promoting success among ­underrepresented, first-generation, and marginalized students. The following data illustrates successful outcomes achieved by initiatives within the ATD portfolio (Levy & Polnariev, 2016): • Fall-to-Fall persistence increased by 3.5% from 2014 to 2016. • FT/FT three-year graduation rate increased by 3.4% in 2016. • Most recent cohort (2016 cohort) demonstrated the highest FT/ FT graduation rate compared to the previous five years. • Performance in English and math gateway courses increased by +16% and +10%, respectively in 2014 and 2015. According to the ATD website (n.d.), “colleges that have implemented the [ATD] ICAT [i.e., Institutional Change Assessment Tool] are leveraging the results to guide strategic planning, prepare for accreditation, launch pathways, implement high impact High impact practices (HIPs) practices, facilitate discussions across the college, and drive action” (ATD website, n.d.). ICAT is a comprehensive and systematic approach to improve students outcomes which starts with placing a “Student-Focused Culture” at the center of the institution; the tool connects coordinated actions such as communication, data, equity, and learning which form a holistic model of student support.

Concluding Thoughts We fully support and commend our U.S. community college and international colleagues who have viewed the COVID-19 challenges as an opportunity to both reflect on the true depth of the emerging student needs and take action to challenge the status quo with respect to enhancing student access, equity, inclusion, and social justice. This pandemic has brought a renewed sense of urgency to educational challenges, including the “need to expand and equalize college access, reduce the higher education sectors costly in-person instruction, and develop a cumulative

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science of adult learning” (Arum & Stevens, 2020, p. 2). Essential to the efficacious implementation of equity-informed approaches which facilitate resiliency among community college students is the willingness of institutions to earnestly reflect on long-held assumptions, beliefs, and practices that drive policies and procedures. We fervently recommend that institutions reflect on the core goals and objectives of their attempts to engage students in support of resiliency before proceeding to develop “new initiatives” by “retro-fitting” what they offered pre-COVID via remote or virtual formats. Critical to this strategic exercise is a willingness for all stakeholders to address the following suggested “starter questions” in a synergistic and collaborative manner (Levy, 2020; Levy & Polnariev, 2016): • How do we define student success, resilience, social equity, and justice? • What does this mean to different cultures such as individualistic or collectivistic? • What assumptions and biases are we bringing and applying to this discussion? • What are we trying to accomplish and why? • What are we trying to improve and/or change? What are the obstacles? What are the facilitators? • Have we discussed these questions as precursors to our work? • What’s next? Below are two overarching and humble recommendations from Dr. Copprue (2020), an equity-minded community college leader, regarding how to most effectively improve students’ resiliency and learning in the virtual, in-person, and hybrid platforms. We believe that these insights are essential components of any systemic approach to improving social equity and justice: • Show students that you sincerely care! Regularly emphasize that you are concerned about their success and will try your best to help them. Ask students about their needs and challenges. Their struggles may be quite varied and include issues related to academics, food, housing, mental health, technology, tutoring, and tuition. Help connect these students


B. A. Polnariev and M. A. Levy

to support services and follow up to ensure that they obtained the needed assistance to be successful. • Faculty-student and student-student engagement matters! Create opportunities for both groups to engage in communities by leveraging discussion boards and other connection venues. With a commitment to equity, earnestly try to provide more diverse student-friendly and convenient in-person and/or virtual office hours given students’ commitments beyond academics. Consequently, to faithfully promote student equity and resiliency in the face of multiple, critical challenges to psychological, financial, social, and cultural wellness, higher education must first be willing to confront institutionalized assumptions regarding the needs of diverse communities. If a commitment to enhance institutional cultural competency truly exists, then the many innovative approaches highlighted in this chapter can help shape an effective network of support and care for our students, especially during times of extreme adversity. Like many of you, our agenda is to advance the equality of opportunity for our students. We urge our profession to adopt and implement as many appropriate presented promising practices as possible to help us collectively promote social equity and justice for our communities and neighborhoods. #SocialEquityMatters.

References Achieving the Dream. (n.d.). Institutional capacity assessment tool & capacity cafe. American Association of Community Colleges. (2020). AACC fast facts. https://­trends/fast-­facts/ Anderson, G. (2020, September 11). Mental health needs rise with pandemic. Inside Higher Education. students-­great-­need-­mental-­health-­support-­during-­pandemic Arum, R., & Stevens, M.  L. (2020). Hamilton Project. Building Tomorrow’s Workforce Today: Twin Proposals for the Future of Learning, Opportunity, and Work. FINAL.pdf

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Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. (2021). Lake Area Technical Institute.­prize-­program/lake-­area-­ technical-­institute/ Association of Colleges and University Educators. (2020). Course completion gap closed for Black students and gap in passing courses closed for Pell-eligible students taught by ACUE-credentialed faculty at Broward College (ACUE Research Brief 13).­content/uploads/2020/06/ACUE-­Research_ Brief_13_final.pdf Baum, S., Ma, J., & Payea, K. (2013). Education pays, 2013: The benefits of higher education for individuals and society (Trends in Higher Education Series). The College Board. Beer, A., & Bray, J. B. (2020). Reskilling for the pandemic recession and recovery. Association of Community College Trustees. ACCT8150%20%28Reskilling%20in%20the%20Wake%20of%20 Coronavirus%20Report%29Final.pdf Borough of Manhattan Community College. (2020, August 5). BMCC COVID-19 Emergency Fund receives $150,000 grant from Robin Hood. h t t p s : / / w w w. b m c c . c u n y. e d u / n e w s / b m c c -­c ov i d -­1 9 -­e m e r g e n c y -­ fund-­receives-­150000-­grant-­from-­robin-­hood/ Brampton College. (2020). Our focus on learning and support during these times.­focus-­on-­learning-­ and-­support-­during-­these-­times/ Casazza, M.  E., & Silverman, S.  L. (2013, August). Meaningful access and support. http://49123941-­ uploads/3/9/9/3/39938161/cladeawhitepaper_81413.pdf Castleman, B. L., Schwartz, S., & Baum, S. (2015). Decision making for student success: Behavioral insights to improve college access and persistence. Routledge Publishing. Clark, M. H., & Cundiff, N. L. (2011). Assessing the effectiveness of a college freshman seminar using propensity score adjustments. Research in Higher Education, 52(6), 616–639.­010-­9208-­x College of Southern Maryland. (2020, December 3). American Association of Community Colleges puts spotlight on CSM’s Mission, COVID-19 response.­n ews/american-­a ssociation-­o f-­c ommunity-­ colleges-­puts-­spotlight-­on-­csms-­mission-­covid-­19-­response/ Columbus State Community College. (2020). Board of Trustees minutes. https://­of-­trustees/Final%20BOT%20.pdf


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Compton, K. (2020). Fashion forward LIVE.­forward-­live Copprue, L.  J. (2020, November 17). A strategy to ensure equity, retention amid COVID. Community Colleges Daily. 2020/11/a-­strategy-­to-­ensure-­equity-­retention-­amid-­covid/ CUNY Board of Trustees. (2020). Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York, March 30, 2020. wp-­content/uploads/sites/4/page-­assets/about/trustees/meetings-­of-­the-­ board/MIN0320.pdf Daniels, M., & Miller, G. (2017, May 22). What Community Colleges Do That Universities Don’t. Time.­college-­ jobs-­graduation/ Das, K., & Das, P. (2020). Online teaching-learning in higher education during lockdown period of COVID-19 pandemic in India. International Journal on Orange Technologies, 2(6), 5–10. e- ISSN: 2615-8140. Davies, J.  A., Davies, L.  J., Conlon, B., Emerson, J., Hainsworth, H., & McDonough, H. G. (2020). Responding to COVID-19 in EAP contexts: A comparison of courses at four Sino-foreign universities. International Journal of TESOL Studies, 2(2), 32–51. Dhawan, S. (2020). Online learning: A panacea in the time of COVID-19 crisis. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 49(1), 5–22. https://doi. org/10.1177/0047239520934018 Dickmeyer, N., & Michalowski, S. (2012, June 5). The relationship between student time allocation decisions and outcomes: An interactive simulation model. Paper presentation at the 52nd annual forum of the Association for Institutional Research, New Orleans, LA. Dowd, A.  C., & Bensimon, E.  M. (2015). Engaging the “Race Question”: Accountability and equity in U.S. higher education. Teachers College Press. Dreyfuss, E. (2018, October 23). Global internet access is even worse than dire reports suggest. Wired.­internet-­access-­ dire-­reports/ Erickson, N. (2020, September 2). Scott Galloway on “Remarkable People” podcast.­galloway-­and-­guy-­ kawasaki-­cut-­deep-­on-­new-­remarkable-­people-­podcast Ersin, P., Atay, D., & Mede, E. (2020). Boosting preservice teachers’ competence and online teaching readiness through E-Practicum during the COVID-19 outbreak. International Journal of TESOL Studies, 2(2), 112–124.

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Federal Communications Commission. (2018). Eighth broadband progress report.­research/reports/broadband-­progress-­ reports/eighth-­broadband-­progressreport#:~:text=Notwithstanding%20 this%20progress%2C%20the%20Report,lack%20access%20to%20 this%20service Finkel, E. (2020, December 13). Why is enrollment down, especially among students of color? Community College Daily. https://www.ccdaily. com/2020/12/why-­is-­enrollment-­down-­especially-­among-­students-­of-­color/ Foothill College. (2020). Equity strategic plan, 2020–2025. equity/pdf/ESP%20-­%20Last%20Draft%20Final.pdf Gallagher, S., & Palmer, J. (2020, September 29). The pandemic pushed universities online. The change was long overdue. the-­pandemic-­pushed-­universities-­online-­the-­change-­was-­long-­overdue Galloway, S. (2020). Post Corona: From crisis to opportunity. Portfolio. Penguin. Glantz, E. J., & Gamrat, C. (2020, October). The new post-pandemic normal of college traditions. In Proceedings of the 21st annual conference on information technology education (pp. 279–284). Goldrick-Rab, S., Baker-Smith, C., Coca, V., Looker, E., & Williams, T. (2019, April). College and university basic needs insecurity: A national #RealCollege survey report.­content/uploads/2019/04/ HOPE_realcollege_National_report_digital.pdf Guth, D. J. (2020). High-tech, high-touch. Community College Journal, 9(1), 24–28.­tech-­high-­touch-­2/ Harsha, D. (2020, April 21). City University of New  York wins Harvard’s Innovations in American Government award. city-­u niversity-­n ew-­y ork-­w ins-­h arvard%E2%80%99s-­i nnovations-­ american-­government-­award?admin_panel=1 Heelan, C. M., & Mellow, G. O. (2017). Social justice and the community college mission. New Directions for Community Colleges, 180, 19–25. https:// Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. (2020). Research and resources.­and-­resources/ Karp, M., Cormier, M., Whitley, S.  E., Umbarger-Wells, S.  M., & Wesaw, A. (2020). First-generation students in community and technical colleges: A national exploration of institutional support practices. Center for First-­ generation Student Success; NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education; Phase Two Advisory.­ and-­policy/community-­and-­technical-­college-­report


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Keating, F. (2016). College affordability study commission. https://www.njleg. Keeling, R. P. (2004). Learning reconsidered: A campus-wide focus on the student experience. National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and American College Personnel Association.­ affairs/_Files/docs/Assessment/Learning-­Reconsidered.pdf Lake Area Technical Institute. (2021). Academics. https://www.lakeareatech. edu/academics/ Land, S., & Aitchison, J. J. W. (2017). The ideal institutional model for community colleges in South Africa: A discussion document. wp-­c ontent/uploads/2017/06/Community-­C olleges-­i n-­S outh-­A frica-­ September-­2017.pdf Larson, T. (2019, May 17). Chandler-Gilbert Community College Food Waste Recycling Project.­ Gilbert-­Community-­College-­Food-­Waste-­Recycling-­Project LeBlanc, P. (2020, May 24). Can higher education get America back to work? Forbes.­ higher-­education-­get-­america-­back-­to-­work/?sh=5661d7857a97 Levy, M. A. (2013). Case study. In B. Van Brunt & S. Lewis (Eds.), A faculty guide to addressing disruptive and dangerous behavior (p.  95). Routledge Publishing. Levy, M. A. (2016). Case study. In B. Van Brunt & P. Fitch (Eds.), A guide to leadership and management in higher education (p. 119). Routledge Publishing. Levy, M.  A. (2020, September 26). An assessment informed model of remote engagement programming. NASPA AVP Cohort Connections, Regions I & II. Levy, M. A., & Polnariev, B. A. (Eds.). (2016). Academic and student affairs in collaboration: Creating a culture of student success. Routledge Publishing. Marler, J. (2020). A summary of OER initiatives at Ocean County College. Received via email on 12/30/2020. McLean, D. (2020, December 17). COVID-19 is pushing colleges to close the digital divide.­19-­is-­pushing-­ colleges-­to-­close-­the-­digital-­divide/592355/ McNair, T.  B., Bensimon, E., Cooper, M., McDonald, N., & Major, T., Jr. (2016). Becoming a student-ready college: A new culture of leadership for student success. Wiley. Mellow, G. O., & Heelan, C. (2008). Minding the dream: The process and practice of the American community college. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

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Metropolitan Community College. (2021). Community-­Business/workforce-­training-­innovation/Our-­Facility Meyers, T. (2020, April 24). How higher education fares during the Coronavirus pandemic.­news/business-­features/lim-­virtual-­ courses-­1203567181/. NASPA. (2020). Student financial wellness.­areas/ student-­financial-­wellness NASPA (2021a). NASPA Resources. NASPA (2021b). Leadership Exchange, 18 (3). https://www.leadership-­exchange-­ &folio=Cover#pg1. NASPA (2021c, Spring). Leadership Exchange, 19 (1). https://www. leadershipexchange-­d MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=Cover#pg1. National Center for Education Statistics. (2014). Profile of undergraduate students: 2011–12 (NCES 2015-167). U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics. asp?pubid=2015167 National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (2019). Fall 2019 current term enrollment estimates.­term-­ enrollment-­estimates-­2019/ Odessa College. (2019). Odessa College initiatives. RoadtoAspen/Resources/AspenPDF/Odessa-­College-­Collateral-­WEB.pdf Pierce College. (2020). Tutoring. Powell. F., & Kerr, E. (2020, August 5). 12 ways to cut your textbook costs. U.S.  News.­colleges/paying-­for-­ college/slideshows/ways-­to-­cut-­your-­textbook-­costs Redcross, N. R. (2015). The campus-wide presentation: an experiential approach to increasing student learning, growth and marketability. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 12(2), 75–86. EJ1061373.pdf Samuel, J. C., Rosenzweig, A. H., McLean, M., & Cintrón, R. (2019). One size fits none: Delgado Community College and Louisiana Community & Technical College system. In B. J. Beatty (Ed.), Hybrid-flexible course design (pp.  1–16). EdTech books. one-­size_fits_none Scrivener, S., Weiss, M.  J., Ratledge, A., Rudd, T., Sommo, C., & Fresques, H. (2015). Doubling graduation rates: Three-year effects of CUNY’s Accelerated


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Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for developmental education students. MDRC. Shapiro, D., Dundar, A., Wakhungu, P. K., Yuan, X., Nathan, A., & Hwang, Y. (2016, November). Completing college: A national view of student attainment rates – Fall 2010 cohort (Signature Report No. 12). National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.­content/ uploads/SignatureReport12.pdf St. Amour, M. (2020, August 20). Ivy Tech uses CARES funding for Cengage Unlimited. Inside Higher Ed.­tech-­uses-­cares-­funding-­cengage-­unlimited St. Amour, M. (2021, January 7). Greater Need for Food at Community Colleges. Inside Higher Ed. 2021/01/07/community-­c olleges-­s ee-­d emand-­f ood-­b ank-­s ervices-­ swell?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=42511938ca-­ DNU_2020_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421 -­42511938ca-­225812245&mc_cid=42511938ca&mc_eid=6efa37245b Suskie, L. (2015). Five dimensions of quality: A common sense guide to accreditation and accountability. Wiley. Sutton, S., Dryden, J., & O’Neill, K. (2018, February). Becoming a student ready college with redesigning advising. Achieving the Dream conference. https:// Tennessee Department of Education. (2018). Drive to 55: Pathways to postsecondary. report_state.pdf U.S.  Department of Education. (2020). Office of Post-Secondary Education reports & resources. U.S. Department of Education. (2021, January 5). CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. caresact.html Union County College. (2020). Annual institutional profile. https://www.ucc. edu/administration/institutional-­research/excellence-­and-­accountability/ annual-­institutional-­profile/ Varney, J. (2012). Intrusive advising. Academic Advising Today, 35(3), 1–3.­Advising-­Today/View-­Articles/ Intrusive-­Advising.aspx Villareal, C. (2020) Design considerations for supporting student resiliency. https://­c onsiderations-­f or-­ supporting-­student-­resiliency-­in-­higher-­ed.aspx

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Wake Technical Community College. (2021). CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.­wake-­tech/ administrative-­o ffices/environmental-­h ealth-­a nd-­s afety/coronavirus/ cares#:~:text=Report%201%3A%20As%20of%20May,and%20are%20 awaiting%20fund%20distribution Westmoreland County Community College. (2020). Online learning website.­learning/index.html Williams June, A. (2020, October 5). Unequal costs of the digital divide. The Chronicle of Higher Education.­ unequal-­c osts-­o f-­t he-­d igital-­d ivide?cid2=gen_login_refresh&cid=gen_ sign_in Witham, K., Malcom-Piqueux, L. E., Dowd, A. C., & Bensimon, E. M. (2015). America’s unmet promise: The imperative for equity in higher education. Association of American Colleges and Universities. Woodon, Q. (2020). COVID-19 Crisis’ impacts on Catholic schools, and potential responses Part II: Developing countries with focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Catholic Education, 23(1), 51–86. https://digitalcommons.

11 Leveling the Playing Field for Students with Disabilities in Online Opportunities Sheryl Burgstahler

As postsecondary institutions rushed to move tens of thousands of courses online in response to the pandemic that began in 2020, many instructors inadvertently erected barriers to students with some types of disabilities. Many access challenges have resulted from choices faculty members make regarding teaching practices, formats for presenting reading and video content, and technology tools. This situation can be corrected if campus leaders send a clear message that their vision of diversity, equity, and inclusion embraces the full engagement of students with disabilities and routinely employ evidence-based principles, guidelines, and practices in all campus offerings. The author of this chapter shares a framework that can be used to guide the design of the technology institutions use, the courses they teach, the services they provide, and the physical spaces in which students and educators engage to ensure that they are welcoming to, accessible to, and inclusive of all students, including those with disabilities. S. Burgstahler (*) University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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Postsecondary students interact with technology in many different ways. A few examples follow. • People in noisy environments, in quiet places, who are English language learners, or who are deaf or hard of hearing depend on captions or transcripts to access content in video presentations. • Individuals who are blind, have reading-related disabilities, or are English language learners use synthesized speech to read aloud digital text. • Individuals with low vision use software to enlarge font size and screen images. • Individuals with limited fine motor skills use assistive technologies that include speech recognition, head pointers, mouth sticks, and eye-­ gaze tracking systems, and a wide variety of alternative keyboards. • Many people use smartphones, tablets, and other devices that vary in screen size, as well as touch screens and other user interfaces to interact with their devices. These and hundreds of other technologies and software configurations allow individuals with disabilities to effectively use mainstream technology as long as that technology is designed in accordance with accessibility standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (2018). For example, it is critical for readers to know whether the text they are reading is a heading or subheading, paragraph, list item, table, or other structural element. This information is communicated visually to sighted readers, but those who are blind depend on the document being coded so that screen readers can inform them of the structure. Without such coding, documents may be read as a stream of text, which can be difficult to follow. As the complexity of technology increases, so does the potential for introducing barriers for individuals with disabilities. Emerging online learning technologies, for example, promise opportunities for inclusive learning by offering multimodal representation of information, interactive and immersive learning environments, and data science-driven personalized learning. However, developers often target the “average” user and erect barriers to some people with disabilities.

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Postsecondary institutions are covered entities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its 2008 Amendments. Essentially, these laws mandate that no otherwise qualified person with a disability be excluded from participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in these opportunities. Resolutions to hundreds of complaints brought to the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and the Department of Justice regarding the inaccessibility of technology used to support teaching and the delivery of other services make clear that the use of inaccessible videos, websites, documents, course activities, and online learning tools violates the civil rights of students with disabilities (EDUCAUSE, 2015; Office of Civil Rights, 2016).

Frameworks, Principles, and Practices It is estimated that more than 10% of the students in postsecondary education in the United States have disabilities. Most of them are not immediately obvious—for example, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficits, and learning disabilities. It has also been estimated that fewer than one-third of students who have disabilities report them to the institution in which they are enrolled. A student might avoid reporting a disability due to fear of potential discrimination on the part of faculty and staff or because they don’t anticipate that they will need accommodations. An accommodation is an adjustment or alternative offered after an environment, course, or service has already been designed, such as providing extra time to complete tests or assignments, remediating inaccessible documents, captioning videos, adjusting or replacing an assignment, and offering another method for accessing course content when a technology tool is inaccessible for a specific student enrolled in a class. The purpose of a reasonable accommodation is not to fundamentally alter the nature of a program or to give someone an advantage, but rather to create a level playing field for all students. An accommodation process for addressing the inaccessible design of physical spaces, technology, courses, and services is deeply rooted in the culture of most postsecondary institutions, to a large degree because of


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the legislation that requires it. This approach takes a “medical” or “deficit” view of disability, whereby a professional reviews an individual’s medical condition and functional deficits and prescribes adjustments that allow this person to engage in an offering that is not accessible to him. The provision of accommodations suggests that the difficulties people with disabilities experience are a result of their impairments and the major task of professionals is to provide medical interventions or accommodations. Securing accommodations at postsecondary institutions typically requires that a student presents documentation and requests accommodations from personnel within a disability services office who determine reasonable accommodations and, with the student’s approval, communicate the approved accommodations to faculty and staff who will implement them. In other words, the school determines that a course, service, or other offerings is inaccessible to a specific person and identifies an individual’s deficits as problems that are “solved” by offering an accommodation. This “retrofit” approach benefits the one student with an approved accommodation and thus does little to break down barriers caused by structural ableism. There is a structural ableism to the university: a way of repeatedly rewarding bodies and minds and forms of communication and sociality that are the right (constrained) shape. But there is also an explicit disablism that denigrates specific bodies and minds and forms of communication and sociality. The retrofit is one way in which we address structural ableism (for instance an inaccessible space) with means that simply highlight and accentuate and invite disablism—for instance, single out the body that needs to ask for access. (Dolmage, 2017, p. 70)

Too often campuses react to a disability with an accommodation-only framework without ever asking if a future barrier could be avoided through a better, more inclusive design. Negative qualities of the accommodations approach for making courses and campus offerings accessible to students with disabilities include the following.

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• The process for securing accommodations marginalizes students with disabilities by requiring a segregated process for gaining access to what the institution routinely offers to other students. • An accommodation does not always result in the student receiving content and experiences equivalent to and at the same time as those received by other students. • Accommodations are only offered to a minority of students with disabilities, those that present documentation and request them. • An accommodation is not available to other students who might benefit from it. • Accommodations (e.g., remediation of documents offered in inaccessible formats) can create a dependency on a disability service office for routine, predictable academic needs that could be systematically eliminated (e.g., by making the use of accessibly designed materials as a standard practice). • The work in developing an accommodation for one student does not in and of itself make a course or other campus offering more accessible to future students. Accessibility efforts that primarily rely on accommodations in postsecondary institutions have been criticized for their focus on the perceived “deficit” of an individual with much less attention given to remediating deficits in the designs of educational products and environments. Although most people recognize the need to provide some accommodations (e.g., sign language interpreters for students who are deaf ), proponents of proactive, inclusive design practices suggest that institutions reflect on their role in creating systemic barriers and commit to reducing them. Proactive design takes into consideration the wide variations in disabilities and within disability-defined groups, as well as within other marginalized groups (NSF INCLUDES National Network, 2020). This approach is consistent with social models of disability where rather than reactively providing accommodations a product or environment is “born accessible.”


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Universal Design in Higher Education Proactive design approaches include accessible design, inclusive design, usable design, user-centered design, ability-based design, design for user empowerment, design for all, barrier-free design, and universal design (UD). Although all contribute to the field, UD is a good choice for developing a framework that addresses issues for all educational products and environments because it builds upon the most comprehensive and well-­ established principles and practices for designing inclusive physical spaces, online learning technology, and pedagogy in postsecondary education (Center for Universal Design in Education, n.d.). Principles that can contribute to a comprehensive framework for the design of all postsecondary offerings are the seven principles of UD, the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and the four principles of the WCAG. Applying these principles results in practices that go beyond the low bar of “ADA compliance” to opportunities to fully engage individuals who have disabilities, are English language learners, represent various racial and ethnic groups, and have other identities that are not well served in current offerings. Applying the three sets of principles requires that a broad spectrum of abilities and other characteristics of potential users be considered when developing products and environments, rather than simply designing for the average user and relying on accommodations when it is discovered that a product or environment is not accessible to a specific person. UD is defined by the Center for Universal Design (n.d.) as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” Principles for the UD of any product or environment include the following: • Equitable use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities. • Flexibility in use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

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• Simple and intuitive use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. • Perceptible information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities. • Tolerance for error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions. • Low physical effort: The design can be used efficiently, comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue. • Size and space for approach and use: Appropriate size and space are provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility (Story et al., 1998, pp. 34–35). Although these principles can be used to design any product or environment, they were first applied to the design of physical spaces and commercial products. They have also been applied to the design of hardware and software, instruction, and student services (Burgstahler, 2015). Several UD-inspired frameworks have emerged to specifically address instructional applications at all academic levels in response to educational research studies and practitioner reports that learners vary greatly in their abilities and responses to different types of curriculum and instruction. The most common UD-inspired framework for learning opportunities is called Universal Design for Learning. Developed by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), applying UDL requires that instructors offer students multiple means for engagement, representation, and action and expression throughout their course as described below. • Engagement: For purposeful, motivated learners, stimulate interest and motivation for learning. • Representation: For resourceful, knowledgeable learners, present information and content in different ways. • Action and expression: For strategic, goal-directed learners, differentiate the ways that students can express what they know (Center for Applied Special Technology, 2018).


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Many potential barriers to digital tools and content can be avoided by applying the WCAG, originally published in 1999. While they were developed for web-based technologies, the WCAG principles, guidelines, and success criteria provide guidance for the UD of digital media, software, and other technologies as well (W3C, 2013). The Guidelines dictate that technology design adheres to four guiding principles: • Perceivable: Users must be able to perceive the content, regardless of the device or configuration they’re using. • Operable: Users must be able to operate the controls, buttons, sliders, menus, and so on, regardless of the device they’re using. • Understandable: Users must be able to understand the content and interface. • Robust: Content must be coded in compliance with relevant coding standards in order to ensure it is accurately and meaningfully interpreted by devices, browsers, and assistive technologies. Rather than memorizing the total of 14 basic principles that underpin Universal Design in Higher Education (UDHE), practitioners can address most accessibility issues by following two simple guidelines: • Provide multiple ways for participants to learn, to demonstrate what they have learned, and to engage. • Ensure all technologies, facilities, services, resources, and strategies are accessible to individuals with a wide variety of disabilities. Although the need is minimized with this approach, reasonable accommodations will continue to be necessary to ensure full access and engagement to a particular student when the universally designed offering does not already do so. For example, a student with a learning disability in a universally designed online course may be provided with extra time on an examination as a reasonable accommodation.

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UDHE and Online Learning Routinely applying UDHE principles in online learning research and practice requires no less than a paradigm shift from designing for some to designing for everyone. Online learning technologies and pedagogies that are effective for all learners result when educators assume that students in a future offering of a course will have a wide variety of abilities, understand challenges individuals with disabilities often face, and engage in design approaches that result in accessible, usable, and inclusive learning opportunities. Even as research pushes the boundaries of current technologies and practices, practitioners and researchers can trust that UD, UDL, and WCAG principles will stand the test of time. Some UDHE practices for designing an accessible online course offered by researchers and practitioners include those listed below. • Communication: Provide options for communicating with the instructor and other students and, when possible, allow individual students to make choices. • Learning and demonstrating what is learned: Provide options for a student to learn and to demonstrate what was learned. • Reading materials: It is relatively easy to make accessible content when you enter it directly into the pages of a learning management system. If you want to link to a document, avoid creating PDF documents, unless you choose to invest significant time in learning to make them accessible; in contrast Microsoft Word and PowerPoint are more easily made accessible. In content pages and documents, structure headings use the formatting options in the application. Use large, bold sans serif fonts, uncluttered pages, and plain backgrounds when presenting content. • Hyperlinks and images: Provide descriptive text for hyperlink text and provide alternative text for images. • Videos: Caption videos and ensure that content in videos can be understood by someone who cannot see visual elements. • Course content: Make instructions and expectations clear. Use plain language, spell out acronyms, and define jargon.


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• Technology: Address a wide range of technology skills by minimizing the number of different digital tools you use, giving clear instructions for using them, and offering resources to help students gain the skills they need to fully engage in the course. Make sure that the tools you choose to use are accessible to screen readers and can be operated with the keyboard alone (AccessCyberlearning 2.0, 2019; Aluri, August 25, 2020). Some educators have sought to gain insights from the experiences of students with disabilities in online courses (e.g., Catalano, 2014; Roberts et  al., 2011; Fichten et  al., 2009; Kumar & Wideman, 2014; Rao & Tanners, 2011). For example, in a capacity-building institute of practitioners and researchers exploring issues surrounding how future online learning can be made more inclusive, current and past postsecondary students with disabilities participating on a panel reported a wide variety of technical barriers and teaching practices that made full engagement in online courses difficult. When asked to suggest how online learning educators could make online learning more inclusive, they made the following suggestions: • Offer multiple ways to gain knowledge, such as through a video paired with printed materials. • Provide all materials that are accessible to students with disabilities at the same time they are provided to other students. • Caption videos to benefit a wide variety of students, including English language learners, those in noisy (e.g., airports) or noiseless (e.g., libraries, buses) environments, individuals who want to search content, in addition to people with hearing and learning disabilities. • Design videos to include audio content for visual elements of a video whenever possible (e.g., have the credits and other information at the end of a video spoken by the narrator) to maximize access for individuals who are blind or otherwise cannot see the screen. Consider adding audio description to describe other key elements of the content presented visually. • Provide text descriptions for all visuals. • Use accessibilitydesigned documents (e.g., PDFs, PowerPoint slides).

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• Engage with students in multiple ways. • In online discussions, to help students, especially those with learning and communications challenges, provide a specific focus to each discussion question, provide guidance in how to answer the question, engage in and guide the discussion, and summarize the group of responses. (AccessCyberlearning 2.0, 2019) There is little evidence in published research and practice that the accessibility of learning environments is routinely addressed as courses are being designed. With civil rights obligations as well as established UDHE principles, guidelines, and practices that can be used to design accessible and inclusive courses, why is this the case? Some instructors are not aware of laws that require that offerings need to be inclusive of students with disabilities; some feel that accommodations provided by a disability services office are adequate for addressing student accessibility issues; some consider it unreasonable that accessible design be part of their routine course development process or that there is not enough training and support available through the institution to make it reasonable for them to take on this task. To send a clear message that it is unacceptable to discriminate against students with disabilities, decision makers in higher education can • insist that disability be considered in all diversity equity and inclusion initiatives; • establish policies that information technology and instructional practices be accessible to individuals with disabilities; • require the procurement, development, and use of accessible technologies; • assign the respective responsibilities of individuals (e.g., faculty) and campus units (e.g., the central information technology unit, procurement, disability services) regarding the accessible design and delivery of courses and services as well as accommodations for specific students for whom a course or service is not accessible; and • offer professional development tailored to faculty, course designers, student services staff, researchers, and other stakeholder groups.


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The ideal state for future research is that researchers routinely include individuals with disabilities and accessibility considerations within design, development, and evaluation, and other processes. The field of online learning would benefit from more research in both learning science and technology design that specifically addresses the unique needs of individuals who have diverse characteristics. It has been recommended that researchers • become familiar with the UD, UDL, and WCAG principles and established guidelines and practices they support as they apply to the design of inclusive online learning tools and pedagogy; • invite someone with IT accessibility knowledge to be a member of their research teams; • ensure project staff are trained on basic accessibility principles and standards-compliant coding practices; • establish internal policies and guidelines for accessibility within their projects, and, if relevant, their departments or institution; • consider a broad range of learning styles and disability types during the earliest phases of conceiving and designing a project or product; • analyze the experiences of participants with different types of disabilities along with other demographic groups when reporting research results; and • when reporting limitations of studies, include accessibility limitations (Burgstahler & Thompson, 2019).

Building a Model for an Inclusive Campus An institution can build a model that is underpinned by the UDHE Framework to guide diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in an academic department or other campus unit, or in a particular application area such as online learning. As an example, the model for implementation presented in Fig. 11.1 resulted from undertaking an exercise similar to that commonly used in grant writing—the development of a “logic model,” which is a graphic depiction of relationships between various issues included in a grant proposal. In this case the Inclusive Campus

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Fig. 11.1  Inclusive Campus Model underpinned by the UDHE Framework. (Source: Burgstahler 2020, p. 187)

Model includes campus vision, goals, objectives, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impacts, and other relevant aspects of a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative. To apply the Inclusive Campus Model or similar approach tailored to a campus, leaders can flesh out key components by answering the following questions. • Vision: What is our vision for an inclusive campus? • Values: What campus values (e.g., diversity, equity, inclusion, compliance) are most relevant to making our campus more inclusive? • Framework: What framework (e.g., the UDHE Framework that includes the scope, definition, principles, guidelines, practices, and processes) reflects our campus vision and values and can be fleshed out to guide work toward making our campus more inclusive? • Current Practices: What are our current practices with respect to stakeholder roles, funding, policies, guidelines, procedures, training, support, and other relevant issues? • New Practices: What existing practices should we modify and which new practices should we develop to be more consistent with our vision, values, and framework?


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• Outputs and Outcomes: What measures should be identified, what benchmarks should be set, what data should be collected and analyzed, and what reports should be made? • Impact: What evidence suggests a positive impact of our efforts with respect to a more inclusive campus with respect to our vision and values? (Burgstahler, 2020, p. 189)

Conclusions What can we learn as massive numbers of college courses and services quickly moved to online formats as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak? Even with civil rights legislation, disability services units on campuses, and readily available principles and evidence-based practices, the pandemic revealed barriers to the full access and engagement of students with some disabilities to digital learning. It revealed that an accommodations-­only approach cannot ensure equitable and inclusive access and engagement for every student. Fleshing out a UDHE Framework and Inclusive Campus Model offers a promising practice for ensuring campus offerings are accessible and inclusive of a diverse student body and guiding an institution in meeting its civil rights obligations; in implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; and in achieving a “new normal” post-pandemic that reflects a paradigm shift from designing for some to designing for all. To achieve such a transformation will likely require top-down, bottom-up, and middle-out leadership as well as advocates who do not lose their capacity for outrage when some students are treated unfairly. Acknowledgments  Some of the content of this chapter is based on work funded in part by the National Science Foundation (Grant numbers CNS 1539179, DRL 1906147, EEC 1028725, and HRD 1834924). Any questions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.

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References AccessCyberlearning 2.0. (2019). Capacity building institute. DO-IT, University of Washington.­20­capacity-­building-­institute-­2019 Aluri, L. (2020, August 25). Digital accessibility in the age of COVID-19. American Association of People with Disabilities. digital-­accessibility-­covid-­19/ Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. (2011). 42 U.S.C.A. § 12,102 note. Burgstahler, S. (Ed). (2015). Universal design in higher education: From principles to practice. Harvard Education Press. Burgstahler, S. (2020). Creating inclusive learning opportunities: A universal design toolkit. Harvard Education Press. Burgstahler, S., & Thompson, T. (2019). Guidelines for cyberlearning researchers. University of Washington. guidelines-­cyberlearning-­researchers Catalano, A. (2014). Improving distance education for students with special needs: A qualitative study of students’ experiences with an online library research course. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 8(1–2), 17–31. Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). (2018). Universal design for learning guidelines version 2.2.­evidence Center for Universal Design. (n.d.). History of universal design. https://projects. Center for Universal Design in Education. (n.d.). Dolmage, J.  T. (2017). Academic ableism: Disability and higher education. University of Michigan Press. EDUCAUSE. (2015). IT accessibility risk statements and evidence. Author.­a ccessibility-­r isk-­ statements-­and-­evidence Fichten, C. S., Ferraro, V., Asuncion, J. V., Chwojka, C., Barile, M., Nguyen, M. N., Klomp, R., & Wolforth, J. (2009). Disabilities and e-learning problems and solutions: An exploratory study. Educational Technology and Society, 12(4), 241–256. Kumar, K. L., & Wideman, M. (2014). Accessible by design: Applying UDL principles in a first-year undergraduate course. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 44(1), 125–147.


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NSF INCLUDES National Network. (2020). Inclusivity and accessibility for individuals with disabilities in STEM. jenna-­rush1/2020/08/28/coordination-­hub-­research-­brief-­inclusivity-­and-­ac Office for Civil Rights. (2016). Securing equal educational opportunity: Report to the president and secretary of education (p. 32). U.S. Department of Education.­t o-­p resident-­ and-­sec... Rao, K., & Tanners, A. (2011). Curb cuts in cyberspace: Universal instructional design for online courses. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 24(3), 211–229. Roberts, J. B., Crittenden, L. A., & Crittenden, J. C. (2011). Students with disabilities and online learning: A cross-institutional study of perceived satisfaction with accessibility compliance and services. The Internet and Higher Education, 14(4), 242–250. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. 29 U.S.C. § 794. Story, M. F., Mueller, J. L., & Mace, R. L. (1998). The principles of universal design and their application. In M. F. Story, M. L. Mueller, & R. L. Mace (Eds.), The universal design file: Designing for people of all ages and abilities (pp.  32–36). Center for Universal Design. design/cud/pubs_p/docs/udffile/chap_3.pdf World Wide Web Consortium. (2013). Guidance on applying WCAG 2.0 to non-­ web information and communications technologies. TR/wcag2ict/ World Wide Web Consortium. (2018). Web content accessibility guidelines, 2.1.

12 Indigenizing Narratives and Honoring Place in Academia Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn

Opening In this chapter, I acknowledge the sacredness and connection to space, land, and time. When we discuss urban serving institutions we often forget and fail to acknowledge that every single one of them are occupying Indigenous land. I am sharing this chapter with stories and connection to two universities in hopes of encouraging others to acknowledge their stories and connections. We cannot forget that institutional narratives are tied to a glorification of settler colonialism and neoliberal values. I hope that this chapter urges everyone to do a land reflection and to honor the Indigenous peoples’ lands and histories that have been

R. Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn (*) University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, WA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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impacted. We share our recommendations and call to action in tying our stories together. All of our stories1 are connected and this is what we must reconcile with.

Honor Our Lands and Our Narratives The UNM The University of New Mexico is and has always occupied Indigenous lands. The Tewa Pueblos have connections to the area. The Sandia Pueblo and Isleta Pueblo have connections to what is now the University of New Mexico (UNM). The Sandia Mountains are just miles away from UNM and those mountains have stories of various tribes from New Mexico tied to them. New Mexico has twenty-three federally recognized tribes within and across the state boundaries. Albuquerque is known for being a gathering place for New Mexico tribes and now is one of the larger urban Indian populations with Tribal Nations representing from across the United States. Today, there are various national and urban serving Native American non-profit organizations that are located in Albuquerque such as the Albuquerque Indian Center, National Indian Youth Council, Inc. (NIYC), Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC), Indigenous Education, Inc. (IEE), College Horizons, the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW), and the Notah Begay Foundation. Albuquerque has the sixth largest urban Native American population with around 48,012 individuals who identified as Native American (U.S.  Census Bureau, 2005). Albuquerque also has one tribal college, Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), and one Native American charter school, the Native American Community Academy (NACA), which also enfolds the NACA Inspired Schools Network to encourage the growth of more Native-centered charter schools in the United States. Albuquerque also has the Southwest regional office for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the  Our means each and every one of us who are participants whether through student, faculty or staff roles in academia. 1

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Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). There is also an Indian Health Services located across the street from UNM.  The City of Albuquerque has an Office of Native American Affairs that is guided by a Commission on American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. I share the broader context of space and place of where the University of New Mexico (UNM) is located from the mountains and the Indigenous communities tied to it whether tribally based or urban connected because this is what should impact the work done by UNM. At the University of New Mexico, I remember the day I started and the nervousness that set in knowing I would be learning about a new place and space that I was unfamiliar with. Though I am Native American (Kiowa/Apache/Nez Perce/Umatilla/Assiniboine), I understood and recognized that I was a guest in the state and a learner within the institution. When I was offered the position, it was due to my interest and connections to research and heartwork with Indigenous leadership. There were already initiatives put in place for partnerships between the BIE, Sandia National Laboratories, two Pueblo communities, and UNM. I was not a part of that planning and upon arrival taught within this master’s cohort and our classes would be held on San Felipe Pueblo lands during my first semester teaching at UNM. This meant that I was able to drive through Sandia Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, and then to San Felipe Pueblo. Even if I was driving on the highway, I recognized and saw the signs acknowledging tribal lands. I was asked to start a doctoral cohort when hired, but upon my arrival I wanted to be a learner in the first year and see the state and learn about the community and institution. I did this and then in the second year I would start the process for creating an Indigenous based doctoral program. This would mean many meetings and drives across the state to tribes and Indigenous education sites. Later, I would be welcomed into the heartwork of Native education in varying capacities as an advisor for the Kiva Club and later as a member of the Institute for American Indian Education in the College of Education that engaged with many listening sessions with tribes and Indigenous communities. During my time at UNM, I was a joint faculty member in the Native American Studies department which helped keep me grounded and connected in unique ways I am grateful for. My partner/husband also engaged with the tribal communities through his teaching at NACA, Bernalillo


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High School, and later Walatowa Charter High School. Our second daughter would attend the Walatowa Childcare Center learning Towa and finding her first friends and teachers at Jemez Pueblo. In building connections and relationships in various ways, I acknowledge that the Sandia Mountains, the Rio Grande, and the symbols of colonization on campus are in opposition to each other. UNM does not just span the boundaries of its physical campus, what it does and what it means to Indigenous peoples and Tribes spans across the state. Even as Indigenous scholars not from a place we hold a responsibility to the land and to its people.

The University of Washington Tacoma The University of Washington Tacoma (UW Tacoma) has only been in existence since 1990 and acknowledges itself as an urban serving institution and belongs to the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. It is situated close to the Puget Sound with a view of Mount Rainier (University of Washington Tahoma, 2020). Upon entering the space situated around UW Tacoma one might recognize the welcome figure for guests that might seem like it is on campus when it is actually across campus. The welcome figure was created by Qwalsius (Shaun Peterson) and represents the Puyallup tribal art and ways of being, Many Puget Sound tribes continue to practice the important practices that distinguish this region of the world, generously sharing their culture through art, song, and dance. The intention of this contemporary welcoming figure is the same as that of its predecessors: with its arms outstretched, it gracefully receives visitors to the site while powerfully honoring the traditions of the area’s first peoples. (City of Tacoma, About the Art, paragraph 4)

I thought upon my applying and being selected for this position at UW Tacoma that this figure was a part of campus and that the recognition of Native culture was central to the UW Tacoma praxis and community. I later learned this welcome figure is adjacent to campus. I did learn that UW Tacoma has been building a relationship with the Puyallup

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tribe of Indians and acknowledged that it is situated on the ancestral homelands of its Ancestors and people. It was important for me as a guest and person not from this area to understand whose land the institution was occupying. When I accepted this position, it was because it was closer to one of my home communities, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation whose ancestral lands cross state “boundaries” in Eastern Washington. I also acknowledge that I am a guest and learning about this area of the South Puget Sound and the Coast Salish tribes. Upon arriving at UW Tacoma and the Tacoma area it was important to situate place. So, during the first week that my family and I were in Washington, we drove around and went to see Chief Leschi. It is a Puyallup Tribe as well as a BIE and Grant funded school. We drove to find the tribal offices. We also drove to Nisqually to see a Landing to understand where a significant space was for fishing rights and the fishing wars. We also went out to Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to see their community. We wanted to situate ourselves as a family to understand place and to be connected to this area. Later, we would be able to attend the Chief Seattle Days, the Spirit of the Northwest Native Festival, Muckleshoot Powwow, and Puyallup Labor Day Powwow before the pandemic started. Now, our daughter Roxie is attending pre-k at Chief Leschi and we have moved closer so that Roxie can attend Chief Leschi with easier access, my partner Gabe Minthorn has recently become the tribal liaison at UW Tacoma and we are both now located within fifteen minutes to campus. We acknowledge our continued learning of this area and the tribal communities whose ancestral lands we are responsible to and will continue to work to support and advocate for Indigenous education in the Pacific Northwest and Washington State.

Call for Action Land Recognition Honoring place and recognizing land means understanding the living history of a place and opening our minds and hearts to figure out how we are


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responsible for it and become caretakers and co-conspirators of it and its descendants. Many times as faculty, professionals, and students when we seek out institutional narratives and histories to understand whose land we are occupying and how we acquired the land, that information is nonexistent or buried somewhere. Therefore, we become called to uphold institutions as accountable to Tribal Nations and communities whose land they are responsible to upholding and knowing. Especially, if that land recognition has problematic histories, we should know and constantly revisit until there are actions of reconciliation and healing taking place (Lee & Ahtone, 2020). Land recognition not only means knowing the history but also the living and breathing of land and space we are currently situated. We acknowledge that land has a spirit, has a memory, and we have a responsibility to it as employees in a higher education institution and regardless of those roles as human beings we still have that responsibility. I want to share two examples from my own work and experience in connection to higher education institutions on creating land acknowledgment and deepening their praxis. At the University of New Mexico, I was fortunate enough to be a Kiva Club advisor during the time that they and a grassroots organization, the Red Nation, created a movement with a list of demands. Simultaneously, when the list of demands were out the use of land acknowledgments were becoming more visible on some college campuses in the United States. I asked Kiva Club if they would like me to work with Native faculty on campus to help facilitate this process. I distributed a call to participate in an in-person conversation on how to approach a land acknowledgment at UNM with Native faculty. What took place was a collective approach to developing a white paper that provides a context of New Mexico, the University of New Mexico Native context, the background and rationale of a land acknowledgment, a suggested land acknowledgment statement, and when it should/could be used. Once this was developed it began being used at formal gatherings, at the time I served as the UNM Diversity Council co-chair and asked that it be included on the agenda, and that we do this at the opening of each of our meetings. I also asked my then Dean Hector Ochoa of the College of Education to utilize this at the College of Education graduation. Since then, this acknowledgment has grown to be further developed by the UNM Native American Faculty Council and supported by the

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President of the University. I want to acknowledge the collective process and creation that was taken by Native American faculty and with the Indigenous/Tribal communities in mind (Indigenous Peoples’ Land and Territory Acknowledgement, n.d.). The other institution in which I would like to highlight the process for land recognition to create a land acknowledgment is the University of Washington Tacoma. Upon my arrival, a draft of a land acknowledgment had been developed with my Dean Rachel Endo who had facilitated this process. She asked for my input and we used it for one of the first times publicly at my first School of Education (SOE) retreats. I appreciate the intentionality that was used in this development process and that it is acknowledged on our website. The School of Education at UW Tacoma’s (2021) website says as follows, This land acknowledgement was a collaborative project that started in 2017. Dean Rachel Endo offers special thanks to several individuals for making this acknowledgement a key part of the School of Education’s culture. Special thanks to Gerald White (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) for inspiring the original framework for this land acknowledgement. Special thanks to Tanya Powers (mixed heritage St. Lawrence Island/Siberian Yupik and Irish) at Highline College for providing additional input on this land acknowledgement since 2018. Special thanks to UW Tacoma American Indian Studies faculty Danica Sterud Miller (Puyallup Tribe of Indians) and Michelle Montgomery (Haliwa Saponi/Eastern Band Cherokee) for providing feedback on this land acknowledgement in 2018–2019. Special thanks to UW Tacoma Director of EdD Robin Starr “Zape-tah-hol-ah” Minthorn (Kiowa/Apache/Nez Perce/Umatilla/Assiniboine) for providing additional feedback on the use of this land acknowledgement in 2019. (paragraph 5)

Since this practice began at our SOE retreat, we have since used it at every SOE collective meetings, committee meetings, and many of our courses. In our EdD program within our program revisions we have added the land acknowledgment in all of our syllabi. This 2020–2021 academic year, I have emphasized situating ourselves from the reading of statement to an introspective reflection for all those joining in on how we are each benefiting from and how we contribute to


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our Tribal and local communities in our various roles and how we can be more responsible to them. This next academic year, we are moving from acknowledgment, reflection to action. We are planning our retreat to include a Puyallup tribal presentation on the history and contemporary lived realities and will transition our School of Education into taking action on how we can be more intentional and responsible to the Puyallup and surrounding Tribal communities. We will plan to work on implementation of this across our school over the next year and future years. It’s important to note that none of this would happen if it wasn’t for the support of leadership, faculty, and staff being willing to learn, implement, and honor Indigenous voices. Land acknowledgments should be living and breathing to transform and grow from cursory understanding to tangible actions. Land recognition can go much deeper than this and is a journey many of us are still in on acknowledging the histories of dispossession, survival, and strength Tribal communities have experienced. We do this in honor of the Ancestors legacies and spirits who live among us and are a part of the land’s memory and spirit.

Create Space with Indigenous Students When we begin to carve out space, how do we do this in a way that empowers Indigenous students to be a part of the carving process? Carving and creating space does not have to be literal space (though we need that too), but it also means creating programs, student organizations, and even sharing needs and how the institution is harming us (Waterman et al., 2018). When we think of honoring place and space it needs to come from an interrogation of narratives and decolonial process (Minthorn & Nelson, 2018). How do Indigenous students see themselves or their ancestors in the institutional narrative? How do they see themselves in the faculty and staff on campus? Where do they find safety and build community on campus? Creating space with Indigenous students means listening to understand and co-constructing a vision that is fully supported by the institution in funding and process. Indigenous student activists are the reason why we have Native/Indigenous studies on campus and why we have student support centers on some of our campuses. There should always be that space of empowerment but not

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the requirement of duty to advocate and use physical and emotional labor to have basic human/cultural rights met. Institutions need to figure out how they will acknowledge and empower Indigenous students, where safe places are found across campus and not in the corners of buildings that have to be sought after.

Hire Indigenous Faculty Indigenous/Native faculty represent only make up 1% or less of full-time faculty (U.S.  Department of Education, 2020). At the University of Washington Tacoma there are 359 faculty on campus and of those there are now only 3 Native faculty on campus. That is .008% of the faculty representation on campus. These are not unique statistics to share. When I was at UNM, the number of full-time faculty was 1051 and the number of Native faculty was 30 full-time faculty. That is .023% of the overall faculty represented on campus. At UNM, I was one of 30 Native faculty which felt like a decent number and we knew who each other were and built a Native faculty council that we could share in our needs and create space on campus. Now, I am at UW Tacoma where I am one of three. I recognize and want to honor both of the Indigenous faculty who were here before me and being two of the only on campus four years before I arrived. They helped create space for me to be on campus. Having three or having thirty Native faculty is not enough and higher education institutions should never feel like they have arrived in regard to numbers of Native faculty. We have to be intentional about hiring more Native faculty but also recognize when Native faculty are the only ones in their school, college, or department that space can be hard to navigate where you become the person they look to educate them on Native issues and areas in the discipline. For many of us, this is our heartwork and having Indigenous connections is our passion but it shouldn’t be taken for granted or advantage of. The institution should be intentional to create cluster hiring across schools and colleges and/or build in mentoring with other Native faculty as well as opportunities to connect with the local Native/Tribal community and resources. Native faculty need to feel like they are valued, like they belong on campus, and that they have a supportive space to honor the culture and values they bring with them.


R. Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn

Center Indigenous Voices in the Curriculum For far too long Indigenous histories, voices, and perspectives have been left out of the curriculum of higher education programs (Mihesuah & Wilson Cavenish, 2004). The invisibility and exclusion of our narratives is no longer acceptable. It doesn’t matter if it’s within a discipline that is not Indigenous or Native Studies specific there are ways that Indigenous peoples have contributed to it. We challenge faculty to be intentional to include Indigenous authors and scholars in their courses and to acknowledge place in the structure and building of a course and curriculum. Whether or not there is an “active” tribal community or Native American community there is still a responsibility to acknowledge who the original stewards of the land are. Every campus in the United States should have a Native American Studies 101 class that teaches about local tribal nations and about the land and its original purpose and use. Land-based education cannot exist without including Indigenous perspectives in it (McCoy et  al., 2016). This can be done specifically in partnership with Native studies or become discipline specific. This should be a required course for students to take and to situate themselves to honor the local tribal communities and be prepared to build relationships when they leave the institution. For those who have Native students and communities that are active we challenge faculty and administrators to Indigenize their curriculum through Native faculty and local tribal community consultation and co-construction. The approaches to Indigenize higher education will enable Native students to see themselves in the curriculum and to find a space that they can engender the traditional knowledge they bring with them to campus (Minthorn, 2020).

Impact of a Pandemic on Indigenous Students and Community in Urban Areas We cannot yet fully assess the impact of the pandemic on our communities and urban serving institutions. What is presently known is how COVID-19 has impacted Indigenous students, tribal communities and the connection to place. Due to breakouts in Washington earlier than in

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the rest of the United States, the University of Washington was one of the first universities in the United States to move to remote classes. With little warning, classes moved remotely at the end of winter quarter 2020, which caused stress to faculty, students, and staff, all of whom were scrambling to make modifications to classes while simultaneously preparing their spring quarter for remote offering, as well. Both nationally and locally, tribal communities were immediately impacted more than any other racial ethnic group by the pandemic through high rates of COVID-19, and those with underlying conditions. The high rates of impact on Indigenous communities continued throughout the pandemic. Further, COVID-19 impacted the employment, food and housing security and the overall economic development of tribal communities. The stark disparities between the social and economic effects of COVID-19 in BIPOC communities and their White, privileged counterparts erupted into social justice movements and racial unrest. This is an underlying symptom of the United States’ failure to acknowledge and reckon with its twin foundations of race-based slavery and Indigenous genocide. Racism is a disease that has created havoc to the health and vitality of our BIPOC bodies (Manley, 2020). Specifically, many of the tribal and Indigenous communities that Native American students come from and the tribal community whose land our institution is occupying battled COVID-19 and racism on a daily basis. In the United States, the enrollment of college students declined during the pandemic, and this was no different at the UW Tacoma, especially with Native American students. There has been, however, a slight rise in the number of graduate students due to the 2020 memorandum of agreement with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and the School of Education. The tribally based doctoral cohort, which began in summer 2020, included fifteen Native American students. Starting remotely in a program that is tribally based seemingly is the antithesis of Indigenous teachings, where Elder wisdom, storytelling, and land-based ceremonies are paramount, but place and community continue to be honored in the virtual classroom with a canoe journey song and prayer. There is a need to remain connected to our Muckleshoot tribal partners through constant meetings to address any student needs and how to build community.


R. Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn

Some examples of building community have been through a virtual weekly newsletter and through a monthly check-in with the cohort. The intentional building of Indigenous support mechanisms through a collective team representing the Muckleshoot Tribal College and the University of Washington Tacoma is how we begin to Indigenize higher education spaces with Native/Tribal specific knowledge and ways of being.

Closing This narrative allows readers to visit and learn about two “urban” serving institutions whose stories are intricately intertwined to Tribal/Indigenous nations who hold deeper ancestral connections than what our institutions do. Now, our consciousness is grappling with how our institutions histories and stories of land recognition show up. We have an opportunity to hold these institutions, our colleagues, and ourselves accountable. We cannot unsee what is now unveiled and we must start to envision the Ancestors whose stories of survival permeate our campuses, honor the continued existence of the Tribal communities we are responsible to, and take action in how we ensure those connected to our institutions have a land memory and a spirit of honoring it. This is where I leave you and where I hope we can continue our growth and connections to place. Ah-ho (thank you).

References City of Tacoma. (2021). Welcome figure. Prairie line trail.­figure Indigenous Peoples’ Land and Territory Acknowledgement. (n.d.). University of New Mexico.­acknowledgement.html Lee, R., & Ahtone, T. (2020, March 30). Land-grab universities. High Country News.­affairs-­education-­land-­ grab-­universities Manley, H. (2020). Baylor College of Medicine Policy wise blog. https://blogs.­not-­a-­pandemic-­but-­a-­chronic-­disease/

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McCoy, K., Tuck, E., & McKenzie, M. (2016). Land education: Rethinking pedagogies of place from Indigenous, postcolonial, and decolonizing perspectives. Routledge. Mihesuah, D., & Wilson Cavenish, A. (2004). Indigenizing the academy: Transforming scholarship and empowering communities (Contemporary indigenous issues). University of Nebraska Press. Minthorn, R. S. (2020). Indigenizing the doctoral experience to build Indigenous community leaders in educational leadership. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 23(1), 61–66. Minthorn, R.  S., & Nelson, C.  A. (2018). Colonized and racist Indigenous campus tour. Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs, 4(1), 73–88. School of Education at UW Tacoma. (2021). Land acknowledgement. https://­education/land-­acknowledgement U.S.  Census Bureau. (2005). American Community Survey, 2009–2013. American Community Survey 5-Year data, Table BO2005. American Indian and Alaska Native statistics for selected tribal groupings external icon were generated using American FactFinder.­sets/acs-­5year.html. Accessed 8 June 2015. U.S.  Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2020). The condition of education, 2020 (NCES 2020-144), Characteristics of Postsecondary Faculty. University of Washington Tacoma. (2020). About the University of Washington Tacoma.­uw-­tacoma/about-­university-­ washington-­tacoma Waterman, S., Lowe, S. C., & Shotton, H. J. (2018). Beyond access: Indigenizing programs for Native American student success (1st ed.). Stylus Publishing, LLC.

13 The Lessons We Learn from African American Striving in US Higher Education Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth

Introduction Educators in American institutions of higher education (IHEs) frequently discuss student success in relation to outcomes that benefit individuals from college experiences through growth in such areas as cognitive thinking, values, and behaviors of persisting in and completing majors and degrees, as well as outcomes contributing to the individual and society through such areas as civic and social justice engagement, employment, and productivity (Astin, 1993; Tinto, 1993; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Mayhew et al., 2016). However, there have been persistent gaps in the levels of success of historically underrepresented groups by gender and by race/ethnicity, particularly, Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC), with African American undergraduates representing only half of the four-year degree completion rate at 21% compared to

M. Bonous-Hammarth (*) University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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their Asian American and White peers, respectively at 45% and 43% (DeAngelo et al., 2011). At a time when American higher education celebrates its highest levels of diversity among enrolled undergraduates, African Americans comprise a lower percentage of college enrollees relative to their secondary school graduation availability (Espinosa et  al., 2019). Moreover, African Americans comprise a larger share of students with enrollment gender gaps, with African American women respectively comprising 62% of their group’s enrolled undergraduates and 70% of their group’s graduate students, and they comprise a larger share of undergraduates who do not persist from first year to second year of college (Espinosa et al., 2019). This chapter examines the concept of academic striving against a backdrop that is unfortunately familiar—the persistent paucity of African Americans in higher education and the challenges that many in this group face to succeed in this system—as well as novel opportunities for IHEs to play bigger roles to intervene more holistically to promote student success. The consideration of academic striving, particularly related to student success outcomes such as persistence and degree completion in higher education, is consistent with the literature about the missions of IHEs to ensure conducive learning environments to maximize college student development through a diverse interchange of ideas and availability of resources, regardless of student background characteristics such as race, gender, class, ethnicity, or other identifiers (Hurtado & Guillermo-­ Wann, 2013). Moreover, student perceptions about the extent to which IHEs welcome diversity and commit to hospitable and supportive learning environments factor significantly into student decisions to stay or leave college, particularly among African Americans (Harper & Simmons, 2019), and campus commitments to diversity are levers for creating more harmonious climate to improve intergroup relations (Hurtado & Ruiz, 2012). Particularly at public IHEs, it is untenable and inconsistent with guiding public service missions not to address points of historical failure in order to reverse the effects of systemic limitations in ways to enhance the academic and career trajectories of African Americans as well as to ensure the longer-term innovation and productivity of their institutions.

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 ow Is Striving Related to African American H Student Success? Understanding the concept of student success in relation to “striving” in American IHEs would miss important nuances if interpreted simply from a dictionary definition: “to devote serious and sustained effort” (Merriam-Webster, 2021). Rather, the relationship of personal strivings to a broader range of outcomes and agency underscores the concept’s interplay between the self and environment, particularly to realize overall life satisfaction (Romero et al., 2009), health (Simmons et al., 2004), and human viability (Russell, 2020). Similar to views from the sciences, striving is inherently interpreted as momentum required by beings for adaptation and capacity building, with Russell (2020) advising about striving’s similarity to the second law of thermodynamics where a closed system or lack of striving contributes to “entropy” and the ending of a species. Striving in general promotes not only other outcomes such as satisfaction and health maintenance, but also acute awareness about engendering outcomes through agency. Research to operationalize striving items through factor analyses showed that the factors were significantly associated with environmental conditions to support success (“environmental opportunity”), help from others to achieve desired outcomes (“support”) and values held by the self that were “compatible with the values of society at large (social desirability),” all correlated to individual well-being and flourishing (Romero et  al., 2009, p. 543). In this sense, the act of striving appears to be directly associated with environmental conditions and aligned values between self and the community which enables support. When we think about the circumstances of the nearly 2.6  million African Americans enrolled in postsecondary institutions, we can be informed from the striving literature to understand that individual striving of these students is tethered to conducive alignments across the student success outcomes they envision, the means to achieve/environmental conditions, and mutual and intentional aims of students and their institutions to realize this success. However, current success gaps—ranging from less participation in higher education by African American men


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than women to readiness for graduate school and persistence in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) careers— suggest the need for additional pathways to support student success.

African Americans and Success in College Student striving does not occur in a vacuum. While individual students are best positioned to initiate activities to support their striving in higher education, their actions are interconnected to the IHEs where they learn, study, and socialize with others. African Americans have endured a history in the United States that included denial in well-documented areas that stem from slavery and limited participation in economic systems, education, employment, voting, housing, and other areas (Darity Jr. et al., 2018; McGhee, 2021). For example, when poverty rates in the US were at their lowest percent in 2019 (at 11% overall), the rates remained higher for Blacks at 19% and for Hispanics at 16% (Creamer, 2020). By contrast, the ravages of COVID-19 pandemic to physical and economic health resulted in 20% of American children living in poverty overall, with 67% of Black children living in poverty (Buchheit, 2021). Due in part to these systemic conditions, research continues to demonstrate differences in the postsecondary outcomes of African Americans, notably stemming from their locations of enrollment that provide access to varied resources and experiences during college. Although Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) comprise only 3% of American higher education, these institutions enroll 10% of all African Americans and produce 20% of all African American baccalaureates (Bridges, 2019). In fall 2018, African Americans comprised 12% of all public four-year college enrollees, 13% of those attending four-year private colleges, and 29% of enrolled students at four-year for-profits; this group also comprised the largest portion of enrollees at private, two-year non-profits at 41%, represented 14% of the enrollees at public two-year institutions, and comprised 28% of two-year private for-profits (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). On average, African Americans have reported higher gains in development and engagement at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) than at Predominantly White

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Institutions (PWIs), specifically in the areas of critical thinking development, active collaboration, and student-faculty interaction (Laird et al., 2007), in persistence related to commuter urban HBCUs (Baker et al., 2020), and in higher academic performance, social interactions, and occupational aspirations at HBCUs primarily in urban and suburban areas (Allen, 1992). In the largely suburban and four-year college and university settings, African Americans have greater access to institutional resources at faculty-­ student ratios comparable to their peers, which include opportunities for engagement in high-impact practices (HIPs). These HIPs are “educationally purposeful activities” that include service learning, student-faculty research, and learning communities, and contribute to deep learning and perceived learning gains among African American students (Finley & McNair, 2013). Although African American students engaged in fewer HIPs at 1.29 mean activities than transfers at 1.53 mean HIPs, non-first-­ generation students at 1.45 mean HIPs, or White peers at 1.38 mean activities, they benefitted from the same boost in learning similar to peers when completing multiple HIPs (Finley & McNair, 2013, p. 8). Overall disparities between students attending rural colleges and their peers in non-rural IHEs have persisted for decades, and the increasing diversity in rural areas as a location for enrollment among African Americans and other students of color continues to highlight this region for study. Recent analyses comparing college students in rural, suburban, and urban IHEs showed that suburban and urban college students tended to complete more rigorous academic programs, which contributed to their higher rates of application, attendance, and graduation from baccalaureate programs (Wells et al., 2019).

African American Striving and College Challenges Broad work examining the relationship between personal strivings and health behaviors suggests that dissonance between personal striving and means to goal attainment, for example, marijuana use diminishing strived-for progress in coursework, would deter engagement in the behaviors perceived to reduce desired outcomes (Simmons et  al., 2004).


M. Bonous-Hammarth

Specifically in a study of 200 college undergraduates, the students demonstrating high achievement strivings (focus on success and achievement), engaged in less in binge drinking and alcohol use or issues than their peers (2004, p. 773). Specific to African Americans, a series of studies by Brody et al. (2018) showed not only positive associations related to the strivings of students from disadvantaged circumstances (e.g., poverty and psychosocial hardship), but also their subsequent goal attainment of college entrance and completion. These students demonstrated high levels of “planful self-regulation, academic achievement, and avoidance of behavioral or emotional problems” (p. 2). However, in addition to their successful navigation of academics, the students post college showed poorer health conditions as measured by heart health, elevated stress hormones, elevated blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes nearly a decade later. While striving—“high educational aspirations, school engagement, belief in hard work, optimism, and single-minded focus”—enabled these students from the rural region to persevere much better than non-strivers from the same locations, there was an unexpected toll that characterized the resilience as “skin-deep” since the full impacts of their disadvantaged backgrounds was not erased (p. 5). These findings give us pause to consider how individual striving may need to be supported by both long-term protective conditions as well as immediate safeguards beyond an individual’s capacity. This example dovetails into the types of longitudinal examinations of college student outcomes that continue to be instrumental in assessing interplays across individual characteristics, environmental circumstances and factors, and expected change (Astin, 1993). While study about student change during college may bring our attention to traditional measures that we may assess across timepoints, what happens when circumstances, such as COVID-19, complicate already challenging circumstances?

COVID-19 and African American Students By March 2021, there were over 73,400 African Americans who lost their lives to COVID-19, a rate that was 1.4 times higher than White peers in the nation (The COVID Tracking Project, 2021). Preliminary national

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inquiries identified deep levels of stress, health complications, and economic hardship for all college students, stemming from three main areas of concerns: “uncertainty about the future of their education” at 72%, “fear of falling behind in their coursework” at 61%, and “struggles with remote learning” at 60% (Neal, 2021). Interestingly, while worries were localized based on the proximity of intense outbreaks and shelter in place issues, most students used individual coping strategies (e.g., streaming movies, watching TV, video chatting) rather than institutionally based resources such as telehealth services (Neal, 2021). Drilling down further, a study of urban and rural city comparisons during the pandemic showed that residents of rural communities who contracted COVID-19 were more likely to die from the virus than their city peers due to higher mortality among clusters of Blacks, Hispanics, and Latinos (Iyanda et al., 2021). Specifically, each unit increase of “rural-­ county percent” in the “case fatality ratio, CFR” (the number of deaths from COVID-19/number of confirmed COVID-19 cases × 100) resulted in increases by respective factors of 8.62, 58.7, 2.61, and 1.36 for Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian/Pacific Islanders (Iyanda et al., 2021). Non-fatal health disparities were exacerbated for all by COVID-19 and resulted in decreased mental health among college students. Of an original group of 707 college students for one national study, 36% reported emotional distress due to the pandemic, with 4% experiencing adverse mental stress—the “new normal”—and stress levels significantly higher among women, students identifying as transgender, and students from low-income backgrounds (Hoyt et al., 2021, p. 272). Stress levels initially were not significantly different by racial/ethnic groups among the students in this sample. While most stress levels decreased among students during a three-month period, the stress levels of women compared to men and transgender compared to non-sexual minorities remained significantly higher than their peers during this period, and only the stress levels among African Americans and students identifying from mixed race/ethnicity increased, though not significantly (p. 274). Taken together, these various findings suggest a range of influences that accentuated the differential impacts of COVID-19 circumstances among general and college populations by gender, race, income, and


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sexual orientation. In essence, minoritized communities bore the brunt of COVID’s devastation with lingering, sometimes unknown effects. Considered alongside the concept of personal striving, and the double-­ edged outcomes among African American student success, the exploratory findings suggest a need for more intentional designs for long-term student support as perseverance alone may not reverse deeper health impacts from disadvantaged circumstances.

 hat Are Systemic Change Issues Associated W with Student Striving? Individual Agency Before addressing opportunities for systemic change to enhance the success of African Americans in college, it is important to return to a preliminary finding that characterized striving as “skin deep” to only support achievements in one domain for African Americans, such as matriculating and subsequently completing college, while triggering concurrent deterioration in physical health (Brody et al., 2018). These preliminary findings suggest an important oversight in many care scenarios, where health dimensions may be prioritized without attention to their interconnectedness across all health domains—in this case, the mind-body connection. When holistic well-being is examined among college students, it becomes clear that college cultures support the individual efforts for comprehensive health. Baldwin et al. (2017) found that college student well-being in the domains of physical, mental, occupational, social, and intellectual health varied by gender depending on college characteristics. For example, college students at liberal arts IHEs reported more engagement in and fitness for physical activities, particularly among men compared to women, and those students at research universities demonstrated higher needs for belonging partly due from their angst in competitive and intensive research environments (Baldwin et al., 2017, p. 5). Additional insights from organizational theory further inform approaches to the individual’s navigation of holistic well-being. The

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literature on person-environment fit has identified ways that congruence on individual values and organizational values support individual well-­ being (Kristof-Brown et  al., 2005). In the specific case of college students, such perceived fit influenced levels of satisfaction that increased as resources from the university increased to meet students’ needs (Gilbreath et al., 2011). As we think about the broader impacts on African American and other students presenting any disadvantaged circumstances, the implications about the darker sides of striving bring our attention to the various learning contexts in which African American students occupy. The range of institutional types and controls suggest that more systemic safeguards be generated and maintained to prevent the potentially triggering crises. This consideration would be vital if a critical mass of students present any risk factors from background circumstances to place their future health at risk.

Environmental Support Student success in higher education is tied to student background, student engagement during college, and environmental factors (Astin, 1993; Mayhew et al., 2016; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Sneyers & De Witte, 2018; Tinto, 1993). Findings from one meta-analysis of 25 studies showed that key interventions impacts of key interventions on student success, with mentoring for every 100 students predicting an extra 8 students being retained and an extra 5 students completing degrees (compared to no intervention) and need-based grants for every 100 students predicting 2–3 extra students matriculating, being retained, and completing degrees (Sneyers & De Witte, 2018). Among first- and secondyear African American students, interventions that included collaborative projects were positively and significantly associated with higher grades; among junior and senior African American students, completing intensive writing, undergraduate research, and diversity and global courses significantly enhanced grades (Gipson & Mitchell, 2017). However, interventions within a college environment may need more targeted approaches for delivering practices to be successful, as was the experience with one institution using a successful awareness campaign and linking


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African American student engagement in high-impact practices to more integrated connections between coursework and careers (Hardwick & Montas-Hunter, 2017). These critical connections and the demonstrated intentionality of institutional representatives to ensure that students find the fit within IHEs promise to be a major lever for improvement in the African American experience in higher education. The insights from the literature suggest that intentional efforts by IHEs to target support that can positively contribute to individual student goal attainment also support institutional productivity by increasing institutional completion rates and diversifying labor pools. Additional resources for academic advising and mentoring are viewed as reasonable for the returns on this investment. However, an area often overlooked in the care scenarios for Black youth is addressing systemic racism conditions in ways to promoting protective factors and student resiliency while preventing bias and risks of exposure to these incidents. Racism in general negatively impacts many groups and individuals in society today and these aversive experiences are more severe and multiple for African Americans, affecting physical wellness in ways that are measured by higher blood pressure, more chronic disease onset, and low birth weights and even prenatal effects (Harrell et al., 2011; Sternthal et al., 2011). At IHEs, perceived negative climate or exclusion prevents student engagement and subsequent knowledge generation and sharing. The enrollment of African American and Hispanic/Latino students is positively related to students’ perceived sense of belonging and a low incidence of harassment (Hurtado & Ruiz Alvarado, 2015). Some of our typical approaches to interrupt racism and to improve climates through broader intergroup connection may inadvertently result in systemic inertia or limited social change as root-cause inequities arunresolved amid group connections that appear harmonious (Saguy et al., 2009). In examining the impacts of stress, Sternthal et al. (2011) found that African Americans experienced more and multiple types of stress from racism compared to all other peer groups. This clear and unique mind-body connection for African American students suggests that their academic success is tied closely to interventions promoting positive climate and reducing systemic bias among demonstrated priorities to nurture positive learning climates and reduce harassment and related

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incidents. As noted by Gurin et  al. (2004), increasing the presence of African Americans in higher education may be a “necessary but … [in]sufficient condition” to advance higher student success from diverse learning environments (p.  117). In this sense, the findings challenge IHEs to be proactive and intentional in designing interventions that may increase resilience against the deleterious effects of racism in order to buoy students’ longer-term mental and physical health and to create more conducive learning environments for all. The concept of diverse learning environments to foster student success is an area of promising study, with diverse and engaging environments being associated with critical student outcomes such as higher grades and developing habits of mind or dispositions to learning when encountering new problems (Hurtado & DeAngelo, 2012). The positive cross-racial interactions that may be fostered in diverse learning environments, as well as intentionally designed ethnic studies courses and community service work were positively associated with self-rated gains after four years of college in the type of complex thinking skills that characterize habits of mind (Hurtado & DeAngelo). As we think forward about institutional programming to build these important general skills for all associated with lifelong learning and to add to the specific toolkits for African American students who may need specific programming and systemically changed institutions to enhance sense of belonging, and stress care, organizing activities to promote diverse learning environments may be a promising course of action for educational intervention.

Conclusion The lessons we learn from African American striving in IHEs highlight both the challenge that Brody et al. (2018) described as “skin deep” resiliency, as well as insufficient institutional supports to address the unique psychosocial issues often stemming from multiple and deeper encounters with racism and bias. While the demographics of today’s colleges and universities show greater structural diversity, there have been slight declines in enrollment, differences in college experiences which include more experiences with racism, and lower graduation rates among African


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Americans compared to White and other peers. As IHEs continue to diversify, it is essential to ensure that stratification or variances among enrolled African American students and peers does not predict or realize differential outcomes that shortchange opportunities for Black students—or any student—relative to the individuals in the same learning environments. Diverse learning environments, where students are actively engaging with diverse others and not studying in silos, suggest promise for connecting organizational resources and interventions in ways that promote lifelong learning. These environments may be the gifts that keep giving. Going forward, this conversation on striving and college students suggests important ways to enhance learning, particularly among African American students.

Recommendations As the greatest learning results from peer group and student engagement through faculty-student interactions, broader programming to foster the research engagement and informal educational experiences outside of class are potential levers to increase development of habits of mind. The lessons learned from Florida International University (Hardwick & Montas-Hunter, 2017) illustrate the organizational priorities and practices that may be implemented to target approaches for interdependent individual and IHE benefits. Further research and pilot practices are needed to understand the most robust factors and approaches to address success gaps and resolve the longer-term predicted negative impacts of striving among African American students and their peers. Findings from a randomized controlled study with African Americans who were part of an intervention to understand that adversity “was not an indictment on their belonging” demonstrated that the students received higher grades than those who were in the control group, and that this success cut the achievement gap with White peers in half (Walton & Cohen, 2011, p. 1450). Such possible interventions would need deeper focus on the mind-body connections that stem from inhospitable learning environments to determine

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the best concurrent courses of action to support the expected striver successes while disrupting the unintentional physiological damage that may arise due to a legacy of disadvantage. While individual interventions are key to address the various ways in which student are motivated to engage in college to attain their goals, colleges, and universities should demonstrate greater accountability for engaging students whose access and presence has been historically underrepresented in their institutions. The emerging evidence about the deleterious effects of racism and negative campus climate on outcomes for students in general and for African American students specifically requires immediate attention. As IHEs have missions that voice a commitment to help students attain their potentials, organizational realignments and intentional designs are needed to eliminate academic success gaps and to tailor care regimes to meet the unique needs of Black students. Institutions should broaden their opportunities to provide well-being activities that promote health comprehensively. This would include prioritizing initiatives that engage student cohorts early and consistently in awareness about “skin deep” resiliency, as well as proactive strategies that lead to student competencies for restorative health, nutrition, sleep, financial security, and so on, for vulnerable students. Illustrations of creative interventions to promote positive intergroup contact—such as Onyeador et al.’s (2019) practices that engaged Black and non-Black medical students to promote positive connections and had lowered implicit and explicit biases for years among the participants—require valuing these diverse learning experiences to promote immediate learning and longer-term benefits. Practitioners and researchers alike are in enviable positions to shape future generations of leaders who, in turn, will model the lessons learned in their commitments to diverse and engaged learning and more equitable practices in our communities.


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References Allen, W. R. (1992). The color of success: African-American college student outcomes at Predominantly White and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Harvard Educational Review, 62(1), 26–44. https://doi. org/10.17763/haer.62.1.wv5627665007v701 Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college. Jossey-Bass. Baker, D. J., Arroyo, A. T., Braxton, J. M., & Gasman, M. (2020). Understanding student persistence in commuter Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Journal of College Student Development, 61(1), 34–50. https://doi. org/10.1353/csd.2020.0002 Baldwin, D. R., Towler, K., Oliver, M. D., II, & Datta, S. (2017). An examination of college student wellness: A research and liberal arts perspective. Health Psychology Open, 4(2), 1–9. Bridges, B. (2019). African Americans and college education by the numbers. United Negro College Fund website.­latest/ african-­americans-­and-­college-­education-­by-­the-­numbers Brody, G. H., Yu, T., Miller, G. E., & Chen, E. (2018). Resilience in adolescence, health, and psychosocial outcomes. Pediatrics, 138(6), 1–8. https://­1042 Buchheit, P. (2021, February 22). 2021 update: Half of America in or near poverty. Nation of Change.­update-­half-­of-­america-­in-­or-­near-­poverty/ Creamer, J. (2020, September). Inequalities persist despite decline in poverty for all major race and Hispanic origin groups. U.S. Census Bureau.­rates-­for-­blacks-­and-­hispanics-­ reached-­historic-­lows-­in-­2019.html Darity, W., Jr., Hamilton, D., Paul, M., Aja, A., Price, A., Moore, A., & Chiopris, C. (2018). What we get wrong about closing the racial wealth gap. Duke University Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity.­content/uploads/2019/10/what-­we-­get-­wrong.pdf DeAngelo, L., Franke, R., Hurtado, S., Pryor, J.  H., & Tran, S. (2011). Completing college: Assessing graduation rates at four-year institutions. UCLA Higher Education Research Institute. CompletingCollege2011.pdf Espinosa, L. L., Turk, J. M., Taylor, M., & Chessman, H. M. (2019). Race and ethnicity in higher education: A status report. American Council on Education.

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https://1xfsu31b52d33idlp13twtos-­wpengine.netdna-­­content/ uploads/2019/02/Race-­and-­Ethnicity-­in-­Higher-­Education.pdf Finley, A., & McNair, T. (2013). Assessing underserved students’ engagement in high-impact practices. Association of American Colleges and Universities. TGGrantReport.pdf Gilbreath, B., Kim, T., & Nichols, B. (2011). Person-environment fit and its effects on university students: A response surface methodology study. Research on Higher Education, 52, 47–62.­010-­9182-­3 Gipson, J., & Mitchell, D., Jr. (2017). How high-impact practices influence academic achievement for African American college students. Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity, 3(2), 124–144. https:// Gurin, P., Lehman, J. S., Lewis, E., Dey, E. L., Gurin, G., & Hurtado, S. (2004). Defending diversity: Affirmative action at the University of Michigan. University of Michigan. Hardwick, J., & Montas-Hunter, S. (2017). Campus-based strategies for African American student success. Peer Review, 19(2), 21–22. sites/default/files/files/periodical_issue/PR_SP17_Vol19No2.pdf Harper, S. R., & Simmons, I. (2019). Black students at public colleges and universities: A 50-state report card. University of Southern California Race and Equity Center. Black-­Students-­at-­Public-­Colleges-­and.pdf Harrell, C. J. P., Burford, T. I., Cage, B. N., Nelson, T. M., Shearon, S., Thompson, A., & Green, S. (2011). Multiple pathways linking racism to health outcomes. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 8(1), 143–157. Hoyt, L.  T., Cohen, A.  K., Dull, B., Castro, E.  M., & Yazdani, N. (2021). Constant stress has become the new normal: Stress and anxiety inequalities among U.S. college students in the time of COVID-19. Journal of Adolescent Health, 68, 270–276. Hurtado, S., & DeAngelo, L. (2012). Linking diversity and civic-minded practices with student outcomes: New evidence from national surveys. Liberal Education, 98(2), 14–23.­research/periodicals/linking-­diversity-­and-­civic-­minded-­practices-­student-­outcomes-­new Hurtado, S., & Guillermo-Wann, C. (2013). Diverse learning environments: Assessing and creating conditions for student success. Final Report to the Ford


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Foundation. UCLA Higher Education Research Institute. https://www.heri. Hurtado, S., & Ruiz, A. (2012). The climate for underrepresented groups and diversity on campus. A HERI Research Brief. UCLA Higher Education Research Institute. Hurtado, S., & Ruiz Alvarado, A. (2015). Discrimination and bias, underrepresentation, and sense of belonging on campus. A HERI Research Brief. UCLA Higher Education Research Institute. PDFs/ Discriminination-and-Bias-Underrepresentation-and-Sense-of-Belongingon-Campus.pdf. Iyanda, A. E., Boakye, K. A., Lu, Y., & Oppong, J. R. (2021). Racial/ethnic heterogeneity and rural-urban disparity of COVID-19 case fatality ratio in the USA: A negative binomial and GIS-based analysis. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, pre-published online. s40615-­021-­01006-­7 Kristof-Brown, A.  L., Zimmerman, R.  D., & Johnson, E.  C. (2005). Consequences of individual’s fit at work: A meta-analysis of person-job, person-­ organization, person-group, and person-supervisor fit. Personnel Psychology, 58, 281–342. Laird, T.  F., Bridges, B.  K., Morelon-Quainoo, C.  L., Williams, J.  M., & Holmes, M. S. (2007). African American and Hispanic student engagement at Minority Serving and Predominantly White Institutions. Journal of College Student Development, 48(1), 39–56. Mayhew, M. J., Rockenbach, A. N., Bowman, N. A., Seifert, T. A., Wolniak, G. C., Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2016). How college affects students: 21st century evidence that higher education works. Jossey-Bass. McGhee, H. (2021). The sum of us: What racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together. One World. ISBN: 9780525509561. Merriam-Webster. (2021). Striving. In dictionary. https:// www.merriam-­ National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). Characteristics of postsecondary students. Website. Neal, K. (2021). College students’ mental health continues to suffer from COVID-19, new survey by TimelyMD finds. TimelyMD website. college-­students-­mental-­health-­continues-­to-­suffer-­from-­covid-­19-­new-­ survey-­by-­timelymd-­finds/ Onyeador, I.  N., Wittlin, N.  M., Burke, S.  E., Dovidio, J.  F., Perry, S.  P., Hardeman, R.  R., Dyrbye, L.  N., Herrin, J., Phelan, S.  M., & van Ryn,

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M. (2019). The value of interracial contact for reducing anti-Black bias among non-Black physicians: A Cognitive Habits Growth Evaluation (CHANGE) study report. Psychological Science, 31(1), 18–30. https://doi. org/10.1177/0956797619879139 Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research. Jossey-Bass. ISBN-10: 0787910449. Romero, E., Pillar, V., Ángeles Luengo, M., & Gómez-Fraguela, J. A. (2009). Traits, personal strivings, and well-being. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 535–546. Russell, J. S. (2020). Striving, entropy, and meaning. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 47(3), 419–437. Saguy, T., Tausch, N., Dovidio, J. F., & Pratto, F. (2009). The irony of harmony: Intergroup contact can produce false expectations for equality. Psychological Science, 20(1), 114–121. Simmons, J. S., Christopher, M. S., & McLaury, A. E. (2004). Personal strivings, binge drinking, and alcohol-related problems. Addictive Behaviors, 29, 773–779. Sneyers, E., & De Witte, K. (2018). Interventions in higher education and their effect on student success: A meta-analysis. Educational Review, 70(2), 208–228. Sternthal, M. J., Slopen, N., & Williams, D. R. (2011). Racial disparities in health: How much does stress really matter? Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 8(1), 96–113. S1742058X11000087 The COVID Tracking Project. (2021, March 7). The COVID racial data tracker website. The Atlantic. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college. University of Chicago. Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2011). A brief social-belonging intervention improves academic and health outcomes of minority students. Science, 331(6023), 1147–1451. Wells, R. S., Manly, C. A., Kommers, S., & Kimball, E. (2019). Narrowed gaps and persistent challenges: Examining rural-non-rural disparities in postsecondary outcomes over time. American Journal of Education, 126(1), 1–31.

14 Toward an Inclusive Excellence University: Building a Culture Where Black People Thrive in the University of California Douglas Haynes

Introduction On June 14, 2014, President Barack Hussein Obama delivered the keynote address at the UCI graduation ceremony before the class of 2014 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. At first sight, this special occasion, which marked UCI’s 50th anniversary, symbolized a book end to the twin forces of educational access and excellence that animated President Lyndon Johnson’s vision of a Great Society. In 1964 Johnson visited Orange County to break ground for the first post-war public research university in Irvine. Joining Johnson and Governor Pat Brown was Clark Kerr, the president of the University of California (UC) system and architect of the California Masterplan for Higher Education. The Irvine campus—together with other planned campuses in San Diego and Santa Cruz—reflected the state’s ambition to expand a system of “public

D. Haynes (*) University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



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Ivies” and pledge to broaden educational opportunity for the anticipated boom in talented public high school graduates. Three decades later, the Association of American Universities (AAU) invited UCI to join what now comprise the 65 leading doctoral granting universities in North America. It was the youngest campus in the country to enjoy this distinction. In meeting the ambition of its founders, the campus also honored its pledge to the state as well: nearly half of the graduating seniors on that sunny day in Angel Stadium were first in their family to graduate from college. The 50th anniversary anticipated another Great Society milestone. Based on the demographics of the undergraduate population, the campus secured federal designations as a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) in 2016, and Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in 2017, respectively. The MSI designation originated in the 1965 Higher Education Authorization Act. The bill specifically designated funding for mission-driven universities and colleges that served Black students as the original Minority Serving Institutions. Founded in states that barred African Americans from attending publicly funded colleges or universities with white students, this funding recognized that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were structurally under-resourced and educated a disproportionate number of low-income students. UCI’s designation was based on the adoption of new MSI categories since the HEA that reflected the rapidly growing non-white minority enrollment landscape of higher education as the twentieth century turned into the twentieth first. HSI referred to an institution that enrolled 25% Hispanic students while half of all students received some form of state or federal assistance. AANAPISIs enrolled at least 10% of students who were from any of these populations and half of all students received some form of assistance. This chapter explores the formation of inclusive excellence as an institutional priority at UCI as it reached a half century. By defining excellence in relation to the contours of human diversity—including by race and ethnicity—this institutional aspiration provided a conceptual framework and imperative for shifting attention to racial equity from the margins to the center of the mission of the university. It was both a response

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to the changing demography of the student population and a recognition of the disparate impact of race-neutral policies on the participation of Black people that followed the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, which prohibited any consideration of race, gender, and national identity in admissions and hiring. The MSI designations simultaneously reflected the broad commitment to diversity that the university adopted after 1996, and the limited utility of social economic status as a proxy for race. In other words, this commitment proved to be effective for diversifying the campus without improving the participation of Black students in the UC and UCI. The adoption of inclusive excellence as an imperative of the campus strategic plan Bright Past. Brilliant Future (2016) expanded the capacity of the university to substantively engage in racial redress as a fundamental part of its mission. Launched nearly a quarter century after the passage of Proposition 209, the UCI Black Thriving Initiative (2020) committed UCI to be the nation’s foremost destination for Black people to thrive as undergraduates and graduate students, faculty and staff employees, and alumni and communities served by the campus in the state and country.1

 o Golden Age for Racial Redress: N The California Masterplan for Higher Education (1960) and the UC A year after breaking ground at the UCI campus in June 1964, Johnson delivered his “To Fulfill These Rights” commencement address to the graduating class at the Howard University in Washington, DC.2 Founded in the wake of the civil war, Howard was the most pre-eminent HBCU in the country. Johnson used this platform to articulate what he described as the “next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights.” The  Teresa Watanabe, “Only 3% of UC Irvine students are Black. The ‘Black’ Thriving Initiative’ aims to change that,” Los Angeles Times, August 25, 2020. stor y/2020-08-25/george-floyd-murder-inspires-uc-ir vine-to-launch-new-effortto-confront-anti-blackness 2 1


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occasion was consequential as Congressional action in response to the demands of the civil rights movement was increasing, if unevenly. A series of bills intended to dismantle the structures that denied African Americans the freedom to enjoy the rights and opportunities of citizenship. In 1964 Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act that prohibited discrimination based on race, color, and national origins from entities receiving federal funding, including universities and colleges. Other milestones that aligned with the Civil Rights Act were the Higher Education Authorization Act and the 1968 Fair Housing and Employment Act. At the time of his visit to Howard the Voting Rights Act was working its way through Congress.3 As much as Johnson regarded these achievements as critical to his vision of a Great Society, they were not enough to secure equal opportunity in American life. The combined effect of historical barriers and contemporary hurdles doomed African Americans to a permanent subordinate class. “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been fair. Thus, it is not enough to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.” Johnson challenged the nation to do more than not discriminate; he called for affirmative action: “We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.”4 Race as a factor in shaping access was a literal and figurative blind spot in the post-war blueprint for higher education for California. In anticipating demand, the Master Plan for Higher Education proposed to bring greater coherence to higher education and address economic and geographic hurdles to access. The plan aligned existing pathways to post-­ secondary educational opportunities for high school graduates. The University of California would be open to the top 12.5 of graduates, the

 Robert Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power (1982). 3 4

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California State University to the top 30%, and the community colleges to all learners.5 Nowhere did the plan acknowledge race or ethnicity. This omission is all the more noteworthy as the state legislature had passed two significant acts in response to the surging civil rights movement and the growing diversity of the state: the California Civil Rights Act (1959) and the Rumford Act (1963). The former prohibited discrimination in business and the latter in unfair housing policies and practices. Nor did the plan response to the historical effects or contemporary realities of the white racial order on communities of color. In retrospect, it is noteworthy which counties the regents selected for the three new campuses in the UC: Orange (Irvine), San Diego (San Diego), and Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz). All were predominately White and reliably Republican.6 Expanding access was one thing, recasting the university as a multi-­ racial experiment was quite another. It would have required questioning the racial logic of the university as a vehicle of meritocracy. The 1868 Organic Act, which chartered the university, framed the principles of admissions in nominally universal terms: free of partisan or sectarian tests, tuition free, broadly representative of all parts of the state, and open to women.7 The act was silent on race and ethnicity. In a White supremacist state, the university served White men and women. It was unnecessary to formally bar communities of color—such as Black or African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic or Latinos, and Native Americans. University accredited high schools and junior colleges were nested within structures that reproduced the state’s White racial order while limiting who could qualify or afford, much less attend and graduate from the

 Master Plan Survey Team, A Master Plan for Higher Education in California, 1960–1975 (Sacramento, CA: California State Department of Education, 1960). See also John Aubrey Douglass, The California Idea and American Higher Education (Stanford: Stanford University, 2000). 6  Clark Kerr, The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California. 1949–1967, Vol I Academic Triumphs (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), pp. 235–253. 7  John Aubrey Douglas, John Aubrey Douglass, The Conditions for Admission: Access, Equity and the Social Contract of Public Universities (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007), pp. 17–30. See also The California Idea and American Higher Education (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007). 5


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university. These ranged from exclusionary real estate covenants, employment discrimination, and segregated and under-resourced schools. Meaningful racial redress would have not only involved confronting the complicity of the university in white supremacy in its origins and its after life. This reckoning also would have required re-imagining the very basis for the university in serving the people of the state; one that explicitly situates racial equity at the center of its mission, not on its margins. In other words, replacing the fiction of meritocracy with the principle of inclusive excellence. This principle assumes that promise, talent, and achievement are widely distributed in society rather than finite. It appreciates the historical barriers and contemporary hurdles that distort participation in higher education for Black people. This appreciation rejects the assumption that individuals alone are responsible for reconciling the contradictions of racial injustice in- and outside the university as a condition of participation. On the contrary, inclusive excellence demands that the university intentional confront and remove barriers that impair realizing human potential while reproducing racial injustice. Ultimately, inclusive excellence differs from meritocracy in the following way: it mobilizes the entire mission of the university to build and advance a culture where Black people thrive wherever teaching and learning, scholarship and creative, and healing and service take place at or on behalf of the university. The Master Plan looked ahead, not backward.8 Through attention to economic need and geography the plan would accommodate the aspiration of the growing population for the state. These proved to be imperfect proxies for race and ethnicity in the university and especially at its highly selective campuses in Berkeley and Los Angeles. Even Clark Kerr conceded as much after the passage of the state’s Civil Rights Act, observing that the university “has provided equality of opportunity in the sphere of its influence, but perhaps not actively searched for the means to increase opportunity for equality.”9 In fact, the university did not formally collect  The Master Plan is by no means a fixed in time. See Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, The Master Plan for Higher Education in California and State Workforce Needs (Sacramento: Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, n.d.) See also John Aubrey Douglass, The Conditions for Admission, pp. 103–106. 9  Douglas, The Conditions for Admission, p. 76. 8

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data on the racial and ethnic characteristics of the workforce and students until 1970s. Earlier in 1963 the academic senate declined a request from Governor Brown to collect data. The senate insisted that “listing minority group members by name is in conflict with university policy which is to ignore completely an individual’s ethnic background in all decisions … [such a survey] would be detrimental to the interests of the University and inconsistent with the policy towards minority groups.”10 The institutional indifference to racial redress created a dynamic that would shape the landscape of politics for the university. Until incremental integration in the late 1960s and 1970s, the very Whiteness of the university functioned as an unproblematic symbol of excellence, authority, and knowledge itself. On the other hand, the increasing participation of Black students and other students of color led to demands for change. As Martha Biondi has demonstrated, the campus-based Black student protest movement of the later 1960s differed from the early part of the decade when well-dressed and polite students engaged in civil disobedience for civil rights in southern states. “They wanted both upward mobility and an affirmation of African American culture and history, inclusion as well as social justice. The students wanted to expand Black access to higher education and make white colleges more responsive to the needs of a diverse student body.” Students established the Black Student Union at UCI in 1971. At Santa Barbara they occupied the computer center. While students at Berkeley hosted Eldridge Cleaver, author of a seminal book of the Black Power movement Soul on Ice and Minister of Information in the Black Panthers Party, as part of an experimental course.11 As attention to racial justice increased, the university struggled to manage the competing pressures for diversity within the structure of the master plan. Federally funded Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP) provided early intervention to intentionally recruit, admit, and support students from under-represented populations. First established at the Berkeley campus, others would follow suit, including at UCI in 1970.  Douglass notes that “the first state-sanctioned eligibility study that included ethnicity focused on students who graduated from high school in 1983,” Ibid., p. 154. 11  Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), p. 13. 10


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These programs waived admission requirements for 2% of incoming students. This number would increase to 4% in 1968 when the system mandated the SAT and raised the GPA to managed enrollments. Meanwhile, the state legislature’s review of the master plan in 1974–1975 called for greater attention to diversity. “Each segment of California public higher education should approximate by 1980 the general ethnic, sexual and economic composition of the recent California high school graduates.”12 Given the de-centralized nature of the system and the deliberate pace of shared governance, the change was piece-meal and the impact uneven. Increased out-reach efforts to under-served communities raised awareness about attending a local campus. In truth, these efforts did not make up for decades of under-resourced schools.13

UC and UCI: Growth, Diversity, and Backlash The population of the state grew dramatically due to multiple sources: new births, in-migration, and immigration. From a base of 10 million in 1950, the statewide population grew nearly to 30  million by the mid-­1990s. The racial and ethnic composition changed as the state grew. Between 1970 and 1990 the white population remained the majority, though declining from 77% in 1970 to 57% in 1990. The African American percentage remained steady at 7%. By contrast, the Chicano/ Latino population in aggregate doubled from 12% to 26%. Similarly, the Asian American and Pacific Islander populations in aggregate tripled from 3% to 9%.14 The anticipated tidal wave of students transformed UCI. Undergraduate enrollments grew by 500 to 1000 students annually. By 1978 the total student population had increased ten times from 1589 in 1965 to 9925 in 1978. Between 1979 and 1996 it increased by another 44% from 10,030 to 17,888. The trends at Irvine reflected the system. Across the nine  Douglas, pp. 105–106.  Douglas, pp. 106–119. 14  Belinda Reyes (Editor), A Portrait of Race and Ethnicity in California: An Assessment of Social and Economic Well-Being (Public Policy Institute of California, 2001), pp. 20–25. 12 13

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campuses, it increased 30% in three decades or from 49,169 to 166,718 between 1965 and 1996. All nine campuses experienced growth, but unevenly. Berkeley and Los Angeles grew from higher thresholds compared to the Davis, Riverside, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. Among new campuses San Diego matched Irvine while the college system and space constrained Santa Cruz.15 During this period of growth and diversity, two political developments sent shock waves through the state and nation while impacting the university. The Bakke decision in 1978 and later voter approved proposition 209 in 1996 reflected a blend of rising resentment against efforts to diversify higher education and the perceived narrowing of opportunity within the UC. The former was a US Supreme Court decision that limited the use of race in affirmative action efforts to promote racial equality in higher education. The latter prohibited consideration of race, gender, or national origins in admissions or hiring in the state of California. Bakke, a trained engineer and Vietnam Veteran, applied twice to the medical school of UC Davis and was rejected. Citing the violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, in 1974 Bakke’s lawsuit argued that minority applicants with lower scores on the Medical School Admissions Test were admitted through a special program to diversify the medical profession and health sciences reserved for African Americans, Chicanos, Asians and American Indians. Bakke prevailed but the court did not order the university to admit him. Both applied to the state supreme court. Bakke prevailed and the university was ordered to admit him. Then, the state court referred the matter to the Supreme Court. The case divided the court and Justice Lewis Powell provided the deciding vote in the majority. Four justices agreed that the Davis program was constitutional in redressing past discrimination and did not violate Title VI. While another four deemed the program as unconstitutional and in violation of the “colorblind” expectation of Title VI. Powell argued that consideration  Clark Kerr, The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, Volume I Academic Triumphs (Berkeley: University of California, 2001), Appendix 3: Indicators of Growth in the University of California, pp. 470–471. 15


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of race in admissions was constitutional as one factor among others in advancing the state’s interest in diversity in education. Although ruling that the Davis program violated Title VI, Powell justified the consideration of race as part of a broad interest in the diversity of viewpoints, not as a method of racial redress per se.16 Even as the ruling legitimized consideration of race in admissions, it paradoxically re-affirmed the racial logic of meritocracy. Bakke was admitted to medical school. His privilege was not on trial but racial justice. He served as a synecdoche for the idea of a meritocratic university. This idea consisted of a narrowly tailored set of assumptions about the relationship of the university to human capacity. These include that (a) individuals reconciled the contradictions within society as a pre-­condition for pursuing higher education, not the university; (b) a belief that talent is finite and accordingly a narrow conception of who can participate; (c) the conviction that competition reveals innate differences and justified a winner take all mind set; and (d) an insistence that cultural arrogance is a by-product of selection and competition. The political work of the idea of the meritocratic university justified the Whiteness of the university and minimized the hurdles and barriers that people of color endured. Without recasting the meaning of meritocracy, the presence of non-­ White populations in the university would not only challenge the idea of the meritocratic university, but also be a target for on-going political attack. The Bakke ruling provided the framework for using race, it did not mandate it. The use of race in admission therefore was a policy option available to public universities to advance diversity. Within the UC, the board of regents was legally responsible for ensuring that admissions policy was in alignment with the Master Plan. The university administration formulated the guidelines and local campuses implemented them. Up to 1990, the regents largely deferred to the expertise of the university-wide administration and judgment of the campus in matters of admissions, particularly in affirmation action. This changed after the election of Peter Wilson as Governor in 1990. A former US Senator  Robert Post, “After Bakke” in Race and Representation: Affirmative Action, edited by Robert Post & Michael Rogin (New York: Zone Books), pp. 13–24. 16

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and Mayor of San Diego, Wilson assumed his duties at a time when the state experienced its worst economic recession in the twentieth century since the Great Depression. The state lost 1.5  million jobs between 1990 and 1992 alone. The university was not spared the fiscal impact of the state’s budget woes. From 1991 to 1995 the system absorbed an unprecedented reduction of 25%. The cuts in turn lead to the 40% spike in tuition. The economic climate added fuel to the politics of resentment. The decline of the white population in the wake of the rise of the Latino population together with job losses created a powerful sense of insecurity. In seeking to turn white Democratic voters to Republican voters, national and state party leaders as well as conservative ideologues used racialized tropes to discredit policies of racial redress while masking the unearned benefits of whiteness. The toxic formulations of affirmative action versus fairness or group preferences versus individual merit provided a language for explaining the frustration of whites and identifying their sources of insecurity. They, too, were serviceable because they called into question racial redress without explicitly calling for a restoration of White entitlement or, for that matter engaging in rank racism.17 Wilson nominated regents who embraced his vision. Among his nominees who were subsequently appointed in 1993, Ward Connerly emerged as the most vocal critic of any use of race in admissions. An African American businessperson and long-time Republican, his criticism of the use of race increasingly chipped away at affirmative action as a legitimate form of racial redress while bolstering the political credibility of color-­ blind fairness and individual merit. Individual cases of applicants who were denied admission to the Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses and the lack of uniformity among the campuses in weighing race fueled Connerly’s suspicion about differential treatment. The university-wide administration was caught between a rock and hard place: Connerly’s incessant and public criticism and the pressure of the legislature to increase the participation of the under-represented racial and ethnicity minorities in the  Troy Duster, Individual Fairness, Group Preferences, and the California Strategy in Race and Representation: Affirmative Action, edited by Robert Post & Michael Rogin (New York: Zone Books, 1998), pp. 111–130. 17


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university respectively. This vacuum created an opportunity for the regents to deploy their legal authority to weigh in on broad policy questions. Rather than deferring to the university administrators, Connerly succeeded in 1995 in proposing two resolutions that prohibited the consideration of race in either admissions or hiring: Sp-1 and Sp-2. Both passed by a majority: 14 to 10 and 15 to 10 respectively.18 Sp-1 and Sp-2 did not last. Six years later the regents voted unanimously to rescind Sp-1. Even the author of the 1995 resolutions—Ward Connerly—voted with the majority. In truth, this regental action was symbolic. A year after the adoption of Sp-1 and Sp-2, California voters passed the California Civil Rights Initiative Referendum (Proposition 209), speared by Thomas E. Wood and Glynn Custred. This referendum changed the state constitution. It prohibited any consideration use of race, gender, and national origins by state agencies, including in university admissions and hiring. Another irony of the battle over affirmation action was the elevated attention to diversity. Both supporters and opponents of opponents of Sp-1 invoked the value of diversity, but there were limitations. The language for the resolution emphatically stated that the admissions process was not to be a vehicle for racial redress.19 Because individual members of all of California’s diverse races have the intelligence and capacity to succeed at the University of California, this policy will achieve a UC population that reflects this state’s diversity through the preparation and empowerment of all students in this state to succeed rather than through a system of artificial preferences.20

In the wake of Proposition 209, the university did not challenge the state constitution. Instead, it adopted a broad definition of diversity. In 2006 the regents adopted a resolution that endorsed diversity as  John Aubrey Douglas, The Conditions for Admission, pp. 151–183.  Marianne Constable, “The Regents on Race and Diversity: Representations and Reflections” in Race and Representation: Affirmative Action, edited by Robert Post & Michael Rogin (New York: Zone Books, 1998), pp. 185–191. 20  See Section 9, SP-1 Resolution: Ensuring Equal Treatment (Sp-1). Printed in Representations (1996) 55: 184–186. 18 19

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fundamental to its mission as a public university, serving the state of California. The statement rhetorically recast the Organic Act and the Masterplan by invoking diversity as integral to the historical identity of the university and as a responsibility to reflect the population of the state. It, too, reiterated Justice Powell’s rationale in emphasizing the state’s interest in diversity of experiences and viewpoints to create a multi-racial and multi-cultural society. Rather than explicitly stating racial redress, the concluding paragraph referred to the removal of barriers from historically excluded and under-represented populations as an expression of its commitment to maximizing human potential. Therefore, the University of California renews its commitment to the full realization of its historic promise to recognize and nurture merit, talent, and achievement by supporting diversity and equal opportunity in its education, services, and administration, as well as research and creative activity. The University particularly acknowledges the acute need to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented students, faculty, and staff from historically excluded populations who are currently underrepresented.21

To fulfill these aspirations the university intensified attention to social economic status and geography as the principal vehicles to diversify the undergraduate population. One reform in the admissions process was Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC). Proposed by the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) and adopted in 1998, ELC provided for the admission of the top 4% or 6% of a high school graduating class. In creating a college-going culture at urban and rural high schools with lower participation rates, ELC would motivate more students to pursue higher education while promoting greater collaboration between campuses and local school districts. Shortly after the approval of ELC, the regents lifted the 50% restriction on the use of holistic factors in considering applications—that is, economic

 Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement. Adopted September 20, 2007 and amended September 16, 2010. 21


D. Haynes

disadvantage, extracurricular activities and civic engagement, and school specific criteria.22 At a time when university planners projected another tidal wave of students, the retreat from racial redress would produce uneven consequences as the university entered the new century. Sp-1 did not take effect until 1997, but the impact would be almost immediate. At a moment of expansion, participation of under-represented minorities plunged. Between 1995 and 1998 aggregate URM applications dropped from 21.5% in 1995 to 17.5% in 1998. Freshmen enrollments were no different, declining from 20.8% to 15.1%.23 When disaggregated, the trends for African American were quite stark. The share of their proportion of pre-Sp-1 enrollments across the system would not recover for nearly 15 years. Neither did Native Americans. After a decade, the enrollments of Chicanos and Latinos recovered and continued to grow through 2010. Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders increased over the same period— from 27% to 30%—while white enrollments declined from 42% to 33%.24

 emanding Racial Justice: The Limitations D of a Commitment to Diversity When the Consideration of Race Illegal Just as state voters rolled back racial redress in higher education through affirmative action, UCI entered into a new phase as an elite public research university. In 1993 Dr. Laurel Wilkening succeeded Jack Peltason as the third chancellor of the campus. Peltason became the systemwide president during the struggle over affirmative action. Wilkening was the first woman chancellor in the history of UCI and only the third in the University of California. In 1995 in an unprecedented event two members of the faculty in the school of physical sciences received Nobel prizes  John Aubrey Douglas, The Conditions for Admission, pp. 204–206.  Ibid., p. 210. 24   University of California Enrollment, 1996–2010, California Postsecondary Education Commission. 22 23

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for research in chemistry and physics: Sherwood Rowland and Frederick Reines. The Nobel Prize committee recognized Rowland for his pioneering work on the impact of chlorofluorocarbons and chlorine monoxide in destroying the ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere. A fundamental discovery for understanding climate change. Reines succeeded in demonstrating the existence of the then undetected neutron—an elementary particle—and their fundamental properties. His research contributed to the rise of the field of neutrino astronomy. In 1996 the AAU invited UCI to join the prestigious organization of doctoral granting universities in North America. Reflecting the research impact and visibility of the faculty, UCI was the youngest campus to be invited in its 33rd year. In 2005 Michael V. Drake succeeded Ralph Cicerone to be UCI’s fifth chancellor. The Steven P. Shearing Professor of Ophthalmology at UC San Francisco and later vice president for health affairs at the UC Office of the President, he was the first African American campus chancellor and the first ever to be appointed in the history of the UC. Drake’s appointment took place in a context of robust regental and presidential action that recast diversity as a central feature of the university’s service to the state. A majority of regents—along with Ward Connerly—endorsed the implementation of comprehensive review in campus admissions. This contributed to significant increases in the participation of students from low-income and first-generation families among other under-served communities in the state. In anticipation of significant retirements among the professoriate and the growth of the faculty in several campuses—including UCI—UC President Robert Dynes in 2006 charged a university-wide taskforce on faculty diversity to make recommendations ranging from search and recruitment, promotion and advancement, and climate.25 The academic senate and administration adopted modified language in the Academic Personnel Manual that encouraged and recommended rewarding faculty contributions to advancing diversity. In 2007, the regents together with the academic senate adopted a statement in support of diversity.

 The Representation of Minorities Among Ladder Rank Faculty: Report of the UC President’s Taskforce on Faculty Diversity (2006). 25


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In practice, a broad commitment to diversity proved to be insufficient to address racial justice for Black people. The effective erasure of race occluded attention to the particular historical barriers and contemporary hurdles that Black students, faculty, and staff faced. Instead, race nominally reflected one among many dimensions of diversity, ranging ability, class, ethnicity, gender and gender expression, geography, citizenship, and immigration status, to active duty and veteran. Paradoxically, it was possible to invoke, if not celebrate, a commitment to diversity even as the marginalization, minimization and de-valuing of Black people accelerated. This paradox manifested itself in a number of ways. The emphasis on social economic status in comprehensive review as well as eligibility in the local context highlighted the adversity that low-income and first-­ generation high school students overcame and opportunities that were available to them. It was an ineffective proxy for race partly because of the comparatively small number of Black high school students and their concentration in primarily three metropolitan regions—San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento Valley, and Los Angeles—and partly because of the funnel effect of the A-G requirements on the number of future high school graduates who would be eligible to apply to the UC.26 Proposition 209 provided a seemingly reliable answer to the absence or low number of Black new faculty hires or students. If only departments or programs could consider race, the outcomes would assuredly improve. This thinking fostered a myth of the so-called golden age for Black people before the passage of 209. As I noted above, this never was. This myth, like others, provided a convenient excuse that masqueraded as an explanation. Just as the myth provided a reassuring excuse, the threat of litigation became an excuse for in-action. The change in the state constitution enabled the proliferation of self-appointed monitors of the university— externally and internally. They warned of possible violations or even threatened legal action.

 For the mixed record of race-neutral efforts, see William C. Kidder and Patricia Gandara, Two Decades After the Affirmation Ban: Evaluating the University of California Race Neutral Efforts (University of California: Civil Rights Project, October 2015). 26

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The tension between public statements in support of diversity and the actual status of Black people became more obvious—and unsustainable. To be sure, there were firsts: Gregory Washington as dean of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Joseph Lewis (2010–2013) as dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. In 2011 Dr. Thomas Parham was appointed vice chancellor for student affairs; becoming the second Black administrator to hold this position following Horace Mitchell (1984–1995). Even with these important milestones, the proportion and number of Black undergraduates remained stubbornly low even as total enrollments grew briskly. Although the number of Black undergraduates doubled from 294 in 1999 to 502 in 2009, the overall percentage was unchanged 2% between 1999 and 2009.27 Publicly confronting this tension required acknowledging the limitations of the commitment to diversity. Within the zero-sum politics of student admissions and faculty hiring this was not easy. As a majority minority campus, a broad commitment to diversity appeared to be working. Attending to racial justice for Black people was not just illegal but also challenged the comforting fiction of comparable disadvantage. There were also other reasons that excused or justified the absence or under-­ representation of Black students and faculty. Grounded in a deficit or scarcity model of human capacity, they either blamed the system of public education for failing Black communities or insisted that prestigious colleges and universities with deeper resources successfully recruited the best. In other words, it was the pipeline problem. Enrolled students were among the first to take note of this tension. The UC Campus Student Experience Survey described a meaningful gap between Black students and all students in the post-209 era. In response to the statement “I feel that I belong,” nearly 25% of Black students responded “somewhat disagree” in five consecutive administrations of the survey. In response to the statement “knowing what I know I would still choose to enroll at this university” a fifth indicated “somewhat disagree.”28 Of course, these responses did not capture the day-to-day existence of  Fall enrollment at a glance (1999–2009), Demographic Trends for New and Continuing Students. UC Info Center. 28  Campus Responses to UCCUES Common Longitudinal Questions, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014. UC Info Center. 27


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being hyper-visible and invisible in classrooms and in residential halls, much less anti-Black micro- and macro-aggressions. These conditions were not uncommon at other campus. In fact, this experience spurred the formation of the student systemwide Afrikan Black Coalition (ABC). Formed in 2003 when leaders of five campus Black Student Unions (BSUs)  from Santa Barbara, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Davis, and Berkeley forged a political organization. Grounded in a political ideology of Black self-help and self-­determination, the coalition was founded to preserve the cultural traditions and political fervor of Diaspora Afrikans, within the student population of the UC System. Afrikan/Black students at each UC campus faced racial discrimination in the form of threats, offensive comments and actions taken by many non-Afrikan/Black students and in return coupled with the declining numbers of Afrikan/Black students at the UC system (as a result of Proposition 209).29

The number of participating campuses grew from five to seven with the addition of UC Riverside and UC Merced in 2004 and 2007. The annual conference provided an occasion for hundreds of students to strengthen community while engaging in Black political education, participating in workshops on campus organizing for change, and raising awareness about local efforts and coordinating inter-campus activities.30 In 2009–2010 the BSU launched its own Black Wednesday to the highlight the impact of Proposition 209 and participated in Do U C US campaign to criticize the low enrollments at the San Diego campus.31 Local acts of anti-Black macro-aggression simultaneously highlighted the experience of students on their campuses and mobilized the ABC to demand actions on improving the enrollments and experience of Black students across the system.32 One of the most notorious was a set of  Afrikan Black Coalition: Our History.  Ibid. 31  The Black Student Union (University of California, San Diego), Do UC US: Campaign to Increase the Numbers of African American Students at the University of California, San Diego. 32  Hayley Bisceglia-Martin, “UCLA, UCI Offer Support to Protestors,” Guardian, March 2, 2010. 29 30

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incidents that took place at UC San Diego in 2010.33 In February a fraternity hosted an off campus “Compton Cookout” that mocked Black History month. Later a student host of the Koala television program described Black students as “ungrateful n*******.” A noose was found in a university library.34 At UCI a 2013 fraternity produced video in black face produced by a fraternity provoked outrage.35 Student leaders connected these recent incidents with the long-term impact of Proposition 209 in producing low enrollments and a hostile climate for Black students.

 oward an Inclusive Excellence University: T Moving Racial Equity from the Margins to the Center of the University The students who attended the graduation ceremony on June 14, 2014, applied to UCI during the first term of President Obama and graduated during his second. Most were born before the regents passed Sp-1  in 1995 and voters approved proposition 209 in the following year. They entered UCI when racial redress for Black people through affirmative action had been rolled back for more than a decade. Indicative of the impact of race-neutral policies on a diverse state, these graduates completed their education at one of the few majority minority elite public research universities in the nation. Nearly half of all students were the first in their families to graduate from college or university. The occasion marked a leadership transition for the campus. In June Chancellor Drake ended end his nine-year tenure and thereafter entered into his new duties as the president of the Ohio State University. The  Larry Gordon, “Regents Apologize for racist incidents at UC San Diego,” Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2010.­regents252010mar25-story.html 34  Aida Solomon, “Racial conflict strikes UCSD with ‘Compton Cook-out and Noose,” New University, April 7, 2010. 35  Scott Martindale, “UC Irvine student facing discipline for blackface fraternity video,” Orange County Register, April 26, 2013. 33


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Board of Regents selected Howard Gillman, who had been appointed Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor in 2013, as interim chancellor in July. A distinguished political scientist and expert on the American Constitution. Prior to coming to UCI, he served as professor and dean of the Dornsife College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California. In September 2014, Gillman was appointed UCI’s sixth chancellor. The unresolved tensions between the institutional commitment to diversity and the experience of Black students deepened in the wake of the deaths of unarmed Black males in police custody or at the hands of vigilantes throughout the country. The murder of Trayvon Martin in 2013 as well and the recorded killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in 2014 in police custody highlighted the danger of simply being Black and male in the United States. The absence of accountability reinforced the reality of the devaluation of Black life. Originating in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin and later Garner and Brown, the protests transformed the hashtag Black Lives Matter into a national movement, led by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. Black students linked their experiences at the university to a broader structure of anti-Blackness in society. They demanded change. At the flagship campus of the University of Missouri, Columbia, students organized Concern Student of 1950—after the year when the first Black students were admitted. They protested the unresponsiveness of the administration to racist incidents and a hostile racial climate toward Black people in and outside the classroom. Two months after Michael Brown’s death on August 9, 2014, student announced their demands on October 8. These ranged from an apology and termination of the system president Tim Wolf, increasing the Black presence and achievement, promoting a safe and inclusive campus, investing in student services, increasing support for social justice centers, to meeting the 1969 demands of the Legion Black Collegians. Following a hunger strike and threatened boycott by the football team, system president Wolf and the chancellor of the campus R. Bowen Loftin resigned on November 9.

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The visibility of activism at the University of Missouri reinforced local activism across the country.36 The UC was no exception. Virtually all of the nine-campus adopted in one form or another a set of DEMANDS reflecting the coordination of the Afrikan Black Coalition (ABC). On January 16, 2015, the BSU emailed a petition to campus leaders that demanded the creation and implementation of “effective plans to recruit and retain Black students, staff, and faculty.” The nine demands sought to elevate the institutional experience of Black people at the university. The demands included the establishment of a Black student resource center, the departmentalization of the program in African American Studies, the restoration of a full-time residential assistant for the Rosa Parks House, as well as the creation of dedicated Black scholars hall, commitment from the campus administration not to refer to anti-Black incidents as “isolated or rare,” requiring pre-approval of political content of all General Education Multi-culturalism courses, and designating Black student leaders with the authority to monitor and adjudicate all allegations of anti-Blackness.37 Only four months since his appointment, Chancellor Gillman consulted with student representatives, and immediately appointed a taskforce. Student leaders resisted collaboration and cooperation and pursued a strategy of protest and pressure locally and as part of the ABC. Led by then engineering dean Gregory Washington, the charge of the taskforce was to review and determine whether and how the demands could be implemented. Through the spring quarter the taskforce organized its work into four sub-committee (Academic Curricula and Structure, Academic Policy and Administration, Housing and Student Experience, and Facilities and Infrastructure) while consulted broadly. The final report identified the steps needed to implement several of the demands and areas in which university policy and/or state or federal law precluded implementation.38  Scott Jaschnik, “As protest increase, student demands get more ambitious, PBS News,” March 15, 2016. 37  Final Report on Ensuring a Positive Climate for the Campus’s African American Community (June 2015). 38  Ibid. 36


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The BSU demands simultaneously reflected continuity and change. The demands echoed those of the 1960s and 1970s when Black students entered predominately white institutions. They linked their activism to the Black protest tradition for full participation in society. The responsiveness of the campus leadership reflected a recognition that the university had to do more to address the needs of communities of color in spite and because of the hostile climate enabled by Proposition 209. Over the course of three years, the implementation of the demands—ranging from the establish of a new Center for Black Cultures, elevation of African American Studies to department status, revision of the Multicultural General Education requirement, to the creation of residential and study spaces—set a major precedent: shifting attention to racial equity to the center from the margins.39 Like other forms of institutional change, this shift would evolve primarily in relationship to four questions: who are our students, are they thriving, how do we know, and how can we improve.

 onclusion: A Black Thriving University C Campus and Post-secondary Educational System in California The graduation ceremony on June 14, 2014, marked a transition for UCI on its journey to becoming an inclusive excellence university. On February 26, 2016, Chancellor Gillman released the strategic plan Bright Past. Brilliant Future. The plan prologue declared: Our vision of preeminence will remain unshakably democratic, and our commitment to inclusive excellence will be systematic and pervasive. Diversity of experience and thought is a precondition for productive deliberation, an essential component of our fundamental scholarly and research mission. But more than that, when we ensure access for and inclusion of  “UCI Taskforce Responds to Black Students Union Demands for Positive Campus Climate,” New University, November 24, 2015. 39

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people of all backgrounds and life stories, we make meaningful our shared commitment to a true opportunity society, in which the pathways to success must be open to everyone.

In a first for an AAU campus, the plan called for completing UCI’s transformation to an AANAPISI and HSI.40 To be sure, this strategy for becoming the first choice of students recognized the obvious trends in student enrollments. It too aligned with a provision of Proposition 209 to preserve the state’s eligibility for federal funding. Universities were permitted to engage in forms of affirmative action—short of considering race, gender, and national origins in admissions and hiring—as a condition of federal funding. Securing federal designation as a MSI was consisted with this provision (Fig. 14.1). The breadth of the campus commitment to inclusive excellence provided UCI with a vehicle to aspire to become the nation’s foremost destination for Black people to thrive. Launched in August 2020, the Black Thriving Initiative originated in response to the murder of George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, not to mention the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade among many before and after. His death ignited a wave of protests across the county against lethal violence directed at Black people by the police, or at the hands of vigilantes. The demonstrations in support of Black Lives denounced the obstinate reality of structural racism in society while defiantly demanded racial justice for Black people. In response, Chancellor Gillman and other university leaders called for dismantling systematic anti-Black sentiment while creating a university culture where Black people thrive.41 Achieving racial equity now required nothing less than confronting anti-Blackness wherever teaching and learning, discovery, and healing and serving at the university or on its behalf. In other words,  Bright Past. Brilliant Future, p. 13. Strategic_Plan.pdf 41  In Support of the African American Community, May 31, 2020. engagement/campus-communications/2020/200531-aa-community-support.php 40


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Fig. 14.1  Inclusive excellence versus meritocracy

anti-­Blackness—actions and behaviors that minimize, marginalize, and devalue Black people—was not merely aberrant, but rather posed an existential threat to the very mission of the university and its impact in the world. It robs Black people of their full participation; compromises the university’s capacity to discover and innovate; and discredits its role as a public university serving the state, nation, and world. Anti-Blackness therefore demands a whole university approach to create and sustain a

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thriving culture for Black undergraduates and graduate students, faculty and staff employees, and alumni and communities served by UCI. To this end, the initiative is grounded in four university-wide priorities.42 • Improve campus culture by intentionally confronting anti-Blackness. • Intensify recruitment and improve success of Black undergraduate and graduate students in our academic and professional programs. • Leverage the research and teaching mission to advance understanding the Black experience and advance the drivers of well-being in support of Black communities. • Engage Black communities by linking UCI’s future to the success of Black people. The Black Thriving Initiative has taken on more relevance and urgency since the 2020 election. In spite of the scale, scope, and intensity of the reckoning on racial reckoning, California voters rejected the repeal of Proposition 209 by a significant majority.43 Now more than ever, California demands a new compact for higher education—one that is based on Black people thriving.44The failure of Proposition 16 underscores the urgency of racial justice in the state’s post-secondary system of education, spanning from community colleges to four-year comprehensive and research universities. The future compact must promote personal accountability for confronting anti-Blackness by expanding opportunities for understanding its meanings and manifestations. This burden cannot fall on the shoulders of Black people. This has to be an expectation for all campus communities and members. The state colleges and universities must simultaneously leverage their combined research and teaching capacity to advance understanding about the Black experience and drivers of well-being in support  UCI Black Thriving Initiative: A Whole University Approach to Building a University Culture Where Black People Thrive. 43,_Repeal_Proposition_209_Affirmative_ Action_Amendment_(2020) 44  Douglas M, Haynes “A call for a California higher education compact for Black people,” Cal Matters, 42


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of Black communities. These mission-driven activities must impact the academic enterprise—STEM and non-STEM fields alike. Linking the future of California to the success of Black people will require direct investment for the total costs of education as well as augmented student success and support resources.

References Afrikan Black Coalition. Our history. abchistory Biondi, M. (2012). The Black revolution on campus. University of California Press. Bisceglia-Martin, H. (2010, March 2). UCLA, UCI offer support to protestors. Guardian.­uci-­offer-­support-­to­protesters/ Black Student Union (University of California, San Diego). Do UC US: Campaign to increase the numbers of African American students at the University of California, San Diego.­uc-­us.pdf California Post-Secondary Education Commission. University of California enrollment, 1996–2010. Caro, R. (1982). The years of Lyndon Johnson: The path to power. Knopf. Constable, M. (1998). The regents on race and diversity: Representations and reflections. In R. Post & M. Rogin (Eds.), Race and representation: Affirmative action. Zone Books. Douglass, J.  A. (2000). The California idea and American higher education. Stanford University Press. Douglass, J. A. (2007). The conditions for admission: Access, equity and the social contract of public universities. Stanford University Press. Duster, T. (1998). Individual fairness, group preferences, and the California strategy. In R. Post & M. Rogin (Eds.), Race and representation: Affirmative action. Zone Books. Gordon, L. (2010, March 25). Regents apologize for racist incidents at UC San Diego. Los Angeles Times.­xpm-­2010-­ mar-­25-­la-­me-­uc-­regents25-­2010mar25-­story.html Jaschnik, S. (2016, March 15). As protest increase, student demands get more ambitious. PBS News. as-­protests-­increase-­student-­demands-­get-­more-­ambitious

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Johnson, President Lyndon. (1965). To fulfill these rights address. https://www.­a ddress-­h oward-­ university-­fulfill-­these-­rights Kerr, C. (2001). The gold and the blue: A personal memoir of the University of California. 1949–1967, Vol I Academic triumphs. University of California Press. Kidder, C. W., & Gandara, P. (2015, October). Two decades after the affirmation ban: Evaluating the University of California race neutral efforts. University of California: Civil Rights Project. Martindale, S. (2013, April 26). UC Irvine student facing discipline for blackface fraternity video. Orange County Register. https://www.ocregister. com/2013/04/26/uc-­i rvine-­s tudents-­f acing-­d iscipline-­f or-­b lackface­fraternity-­video/ Master Plan Survey Team (1960). A master plan for higher education in California, 1960–1975. California State Department of Education. Post, R. (1998). After Bakke. In R. Post & M. Rogin (Eds.), Race and representation: Affirmative action. Zone Books. Reyes, B. R. (Ed.). (2001). A portrait of race and ethnicity in California: An assessment of social and economic well-being. Public Policy Institute of California. Solomon, A. (2010, April 7). Racial conflict strikes UCSD with ‘Compton Cook-out’ and Noose. New University. https://www.newuniversity. org/2010/03/02/racial-­c onflict-­s trikes-­u csd-­w ith-­c ompton-­c ook-­ out-­and-­noose/ University of California Board of Regents. (1996). Resolution: Ensuring equal treatment (Sp-1). Representations, 55, 184–186. University of California Board of Regents, Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement. Adopted September 20, 2007 and amended September 16, 2010. https://regents.universityofcalifornia. edu/governance/policies/4400.html University of California, Bright Past. (2016). Brilliant future: Strategic plan. University of California, Irvine. Final report on ensuring a positive climate for the Campus’s African American Community (June 2015). http://ucioie.wpengine. com/wp-­content/uploads/2018/12/Task-­Force-­Final-­Report.pdf University of California Office of the President. (2006). The representation of minorities among ladder rank faculty: Report of the UC President’s taskforce on faculty diversity. University of California Office of the President (Info Center). Fall enrollment at a glance (1999–2009), Demographic Trends for New and Continuing Students.


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University of California Office of the President, (Info Center). Campus responses to UCCUES common longitudinal questions, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.­longitudinal Watanabe, T. (2020, August 25). Only 3% of UC Irvine students are Black. The ‘Black’ Thriving Initiative’ aims to change that. Los Angeles Times. https://­0 8-­2 5/george-­f loyd-­m urder-­ inspires-­uc-­irvine-­to-­launch-­new-­effort-­to-­confront-­anti-­blackness

15 Going Forward Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth

 xamining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion E in Higher Education This volume on Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education provided insights about a range of identity groups and topics related to inclusive postsecondary education from multiple perspectives. While urban contexts were an overarching consideration given the increased density, higher expenses, and higher competition for access to both postsecondary and career opportunities, these impacts were often applicable to the large portion of institutions of higher education (IHEs) situated in urbanized or urban-emerging locations. Additional factors associated with interventions for supporting inclusive climate, advising, and mentoring also informed about the status of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and their success.

M. Bonous-Hammarth (*) University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,



M. Bonous-Hammarth

Current Influences The findings presented by the authors of this volume resonated with the current national discussions for deeper examination about the contexts and interventions for learning about intersectional identities, allyship and partnerships, and institutional resources. The discussions predominantly focused on the largest constituents in the higher education system, its undergraduates. When examining deeper dives from institutional and/or other group vantage points, reviews also showed that increases in structural diversity—also among faculty and at advanced educational levels—contributed to more learning engagement for undergraduates. At the undergraduate level—and applicable to all higher education members at all levels—evidence suggested that structural diversity was necessary but not the sole component required to influence learning and climate outcomes. Similar to the broad mixed methods work of Gurin et  al. (2002) and Hurtado and Guillermo-Wann (2013), the circumstances that were best positioned to influence student outcomes, broaden the representation of diverse learners in higher education and positively support student success had more to do with the contexts for learning and the quality of engagement in those locations. Each chapter author chronicled the contextual influences related to their groups and topics of interest. Climate and contexts were the prevailing influences in helping students to navigate xenophobia (such as in the reviews presented by Teranishi and colleagues in this volume) and to connect with needed affinity groups (such as in the discussions presented in “The Lessons We Learn from African American Striving in US Higher Education” and those reported by Caicedo, Duran and Prieto, and Minthorn). Perceived cultural biases damaged students’ senses of belonging and abilities to engage in the educational activities necessary for success. It was the uniting of compelling interests that fostered community, explicitly providing support to students. As Fenneberg’s chapter demonstrated, the joint strategies across student affairs and academic affairs to authentically connect and address student concerns during crisis led to trusted, innovative, and shared co-construction of approaches for handling a racial incident and related trauma. The explicit uses of universal

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design also signaled the commitments to inclusion and to the welfare of students with disabilities, as chronicled by Burgstahler. Rall and Galan highlighted the advantage gained through student trustees, where they advanced social equity agendas while positioning postsecondary institutions to be more responsive to constituent needs. In Minthorn’s narrative, it was the development of strategies while in community with the elders that fostered authentic partnerships—situating the learning design and implementation based on these pivotal collaborations to inform work that consistently demonstrated shared values to acknowledge student heritages. The institutional history traced by Haynes in his chapter highlighted the impacts that stemmed from shared priorities demonstrated across leadership, implementation, and student-centered processes through institution-wide initiatives. Themes specific to connection and community were evident as well through the technology and data themes identified from preceding chapters. Specifically, the research about online representations of and connections to care by Hodge and associates showed the explicit need for technology to be relevant, updated, and accessible to motivate first-­ generation students to engage with the resources offered. Burgstahler’s review also identified why specific components of design needed to be standardized for interactions with students with disabilities. Three remaining chapters primarily emphasized the need to track information more effectively through technology to inform critical plans and timing of DEI experiences in higher education. Cuellar and Salinas discussed important findings from their analyses that shaped how data influenced identity reporting. Their recommendations to shift the data collection paradigm to be more student-centered and flexible addresses a key need to highlight and represent the fluid nature of identity in ways that model goals for the entire system of higher education to adopt. Capatosto’s chapter on gender equity also underscored the need to track data with attention to intersectionality and by purpose. Her insights about finding malleable ways to disrupt implicit biases were important both to influence immediate advancement and earnings of women faculty as well as to support faculty retention efforts. She suggested tailoring training to align directly to targeted outcomes, rather than only general awareness about implicit bias, and this strategic change promises to have major impact.


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The chapter by Polnariev and Levy summarized several campus-wide strategies to help community college students and their own campuses to track and monitor success. The use of refined metrics to track COVID-19 emergency practices—such as any emergency funding and virtual course supports—in relation to any influences on students’ sense of well-being would inform about impacts and influences on learning outcomes as well. In total, developing better nuanced systems for data collection and requiring stakeholders to review these data for their evidence-informed planning and programming provides an important lever for systemic change both to understand intersectionality and fluidity of identities and to track the progress of higher education to educate about identity and its salience to support holistic development. Specific discussions in the preceding chapters about urban versus other learning environments rounded out our understanding about the malleable factors that would support geographically bound students in postsecondary education. The reflections by Duran and Prieto suggested that institutions improve students’ knowledge about the local community organizations through shared partnerships, service learning, and curriculum to enhance the social support networks among students identifying as LGBTQ+. These observations were applicable to all students in higher education but, as noted, were critical to the success of those students identifying as transgender. Caicedo observed in his chapter that the increased isolation reported by undocumented community college students influenced their increased activism at their urban institution compared to peers at the suburban case site. While the sense of isolation or lack of belonging may be common among new immigrant students, this stressor placed additional burdens on commuting students to remain academically engaged. Minthorn’s reflections reminded us about the importance of co-constructing the sense of “place” and community for students at urban colleges and universities, and her recommendations to integrate elements of history and identity into the curriculum, identity spaces, and other college locations promised to enhance students’ individual agency and self-concept as well as institutional accountability. The recommendation in Bonous-Hammarth’s chapter to examine both immediate interventions to bolster protective factors and to reduce socioeconomic disadvantage threats to students’ health also raise important questions

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about the interventions needed for Black undergraduates in rural and suburban areas where only surface resilience—success in spite of hardships—was observed.

Opportunities for Change The conversations in this volume highlighted an agenda for change to create more inclusive learning environments. While efforts should remain vigilant to recruit diverse students, faculty, and staff, evidence from predominantly undergraduate sectors of higher education emphasized needs to address the quality and outcomes of the learning experiences. The volume’s concentration on creating a more diverse undergraduate population was important for two main reasons. First, enrollment trends showed that representation remained uneven, if not unchanged among students whose cultural backgrounds historically have been underserved in higher education, namely African American, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous students (US Department of Education, 2019). Also, while there have been some gains for specific student groups, for example, with notable increases in the representation of Hispanic and Asian constituents, there were differences in the experiences and outcomes among all, with students who identified as Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) reporting more encounters with discrimination and identity-directed incidents than their peers (Hurtado & Ruiz, 2012), and with groups such as women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) fields consistently reporting unwelcoming climates over decades (Bloodhart et al., 2020). The recognition that context plays a key role across a number of IHEs to facilitate or limit student success suggests that resources in learning settings may provide only limited opportunities for talent development, particularly when limited numbers of students are accessing pathways to higher education. Questioning the rationale for our current approaches and structures to educate undergraduates may provide more effective means to consider holistic learning opportunities.


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Proposing an Agenda for Change The findings presented in this volume address several themes of inquiry related to structural diversity and how students and identities are represented in higher education. The authors also examined structures and contextual factors to highlight important directions for change at individual as well as deeper organizational or system levels. In closing, four key levers for change emerged as approaches to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes of IHE members.

The Duality of Accountability At an individual level, accountability can be imagined as a two-way street where students as well as IHEs are poised and synced to facilitate one another’s success. Students are motivated by their goals, self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and sense of relevant curriculum to navigate higher education and thus IHEs should be bound by social contract to develop student talent to its highest potential, which may be more effective when centering approaches from a student’s perspective (Tinto, 2017). In such cases, context and the quality of connections would matter most and would influence student beliefs in abilities, motivations, and goal setting for achievement. There are specific interventions with emerging histories to support student outcomes—such as high-impact practices—and institutions should be responsible to ensure broad access to these offerings for their diverse constituents. For example, Finley and McNair (2013) found that undergraduates who participated in service learning, student/faculty research, learning community, or capstone projects reported larger “deep learning” gains than peers who were not engaged with these high-impact practices. The participation rates among selected groups were varied, with African American and first-generation students completing the fewest high-impact activities yet benefitting more than peers who had not participated. Taken together, these examples highlight potential malleable factors for enhancing student experiences and outcomes in higher education, particularly for BIPOC students. Seen through a dual

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framework of accountability, students and IHEs share investments in one and other’s successes. As suggested by this volume, an important lever for change at organizational levels would include broadening the accountability in measurable ways for student success. In this sense, key interventions would be institutionalized and tailored to the needs of students in the higher education communities. As specifically suggested in the chapters by Bonous-­ Hammarth, Burgstahler, Caicedo, Cuellar & Salinas, Duran & Prieto, Fenneberg, and Minthorn, organizational changes are needed to enhance curriculum about intersectional identities, acknowledge fluid identities, strengthen faculty development for student success, and tailor programs to the unique needs of various student cohorts. These offerings should be institutionalized and scaffolded in ways to prioritize active learning engagement by comprehensively connecting across welcome/orientation programs, early and ongoing advising, and embedded assessments for reporting progress. Recognizing again that accountability is a two-way street, IHEs should be willing collaborators with students, integrating student recommendations into organizational planning. The findings by Rall and Galan were particularly insightful about how student trustees had contributed to shape both the social agendas and responsiveness of their institutions. The independent assertions from Capatosto, Haynes, Hodge and colleagues, Polnariev and Levy, and Teranishi and associates highlighted the importance of institutional and individual collaborations to resolve inequities and exclusionary legacies.

The Intentionality of Social Justice The individual opportunities to further social justice agendas in higher education should spur the participation of students. These opportunities facilitate cross-cultural interactions both for student identity development and wellness as well as for empathy training and greater allyship. As students report uneven experiences in their intergroup relations, with African American and Hispanic students reporting more incidents of racial/ethnic harassment (Hurtado & Ruiz, 2012), additional support services are needed to ameliorate these situations. Integrative inquiry


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(INIQ) training is an evidence-based, emerging approach to decrease stress; to increase attention, emotion, cognitive training, resiliency, and compassion; and to support overall well-being (Bresciani Ludvik et al., 2016). This example of a new type of intervention is one where students holistically examine the mind-body connections, support well-being while attaining academic success. At the organizational level, IHEs and the system of higher education would need greater intentionality and transparency to help their students to engage positively with difference. All of the chapters discussed in this volume highlighted the critical role of climate and the attention needed in this area to address implicit biases, systemic racism, and the current lack of valuing difference in postsecondary spaces. As identified by Burgstahler, Haynes, Hodge and associates, and Polnariev and Levy, the leadership commitment and visible structures to support students would be mutually reinforcing. The focus on implicit bias interventions to increase outcomes and not merely awareness, as suggested by Capatosto, present a new framework for operations, with the possibilities to incentivize such training across all postsecondary audiences. Finally, the call for broad climate assessments, as highlighted in the chapters by Bonous-­ Hammarth, Caicedo, Cuellar and Salinas, Duran and Prieto, and Teranishi and associates, would enable institutions to monitor the varied impacts and perceived experiences on campuses to address cultural competencies and intergroup relations. Specifically for students, they will receive the message that campuses are being explicit in support and aligning social justice values with actions to ensure their inclusion in the immediate postsecondary settings, as well as their future success in working effectively across difference in careers and professional settings.

The Promise of Partnerships Working effectively in teams remains the top skill set desired by employers for the graduating students they hire, with 62% of recent survey respondents indicating this skill was “very important” and 31% reporting it “somewhat important” (Finley, 2021). At an individual level, college students can gain and practice these skills in collaboration with affinity

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group members or in internships and other work experiences. Service-­ learning opportunities, in addition to fostering important leadership and academic outcomes, also provide instances to connect with diverse others and remains a strong skill desired by employers. Additionally, these experiences provide opportunities to build habits of mind—applying knowledge and integrating learning into different situations to deepen critical thinking (Hurtado & Guillermo-Wann, 2013). At organizational levels, the development of partnerships helps to bridge marginalities—bringing communities into closer contact with the IHEs with missions to serve them. The structures discussed by Rall and Galan provided student trustees with presence and the abilities to voice broader community concerns for action. Similarly, the partnerships highlighted in this volume by Fenneberg and by Haynes provided opportunities for constituents across the institution to approach shared strategic changes. As Minthorn identified, the collaborations that were co-­ constructed provided longer-term consultations to benefit students of their mutual interests. These partnerships enabled accurate pulse taking about community needs. The insights from earlier chapters by Bonous-­ Hammarth, Burgstahler, Caicedo, Duran and Prieto, and Teranishi and associates all supported how alliances also enhanced the protective support for students, particularly when navigating inhospitable environments. The partners, when legitimately honored and recognized, would be envisioned as collaborators and activists, often providing historical lessons to guide new endeavors.

The Necessity of Systemic Supports One of the biggest lessons learned from the COVID-19 circumstances related to the fragility of our social systems. Higher education, a lifeline for many students who were placing families at higher risk if they sheltered at home, became a force for stability. However, the lessons also laid bare inequities that deepened during the pandemic. The declined college enrollments disproportionately affected students from historically underrepresented ethnic or racial groups, first-generation students, and students at community colleges due to affordability and other issues (Healthy


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Minds Network, 2020). These issues once again drew attention to the inequities of systemic resources and opportunities for addressing issues of college affordability, emergency student aid, and critical mental health and food resources at a systems level. Future examinations of student success should include the hard work of providing systemic care through curricular and co-curricular mechanisms. Integrating such previously discussed interventions as INIQ (Bresciani Ludvik et al., 2016) into curriculum and collaboratively planning advising milestones with academic and co-curricular stakeholders would be important first steps to benefit the whole student and whole institution of higher education. Moving forward, the hope is that the discussions from this volume are springboards for more collaborative actions for change. IHEs may benefit from researching other global postsecondary structures to identify if current mainstream supports could realize more equitable outcomes for constituents, for example, to attend the first two years of college at community colleges and similar starting years for advanced education in some undergraduate programs for cost savings. All seem aligned and ready to enter this important conversation.

References Bloodhart, B., Balgopal, M. M., Casper, A. A., Sample McMeeking, L. B., & Fischer, E.  V. (2020). Outperforming yet undervalued: Undergraduate women in STEM. PLoS One, 15(6), 1–13. pone.0234685 Bresciani Ludvik, M. J., Goldin, P., Evrard, M. R., Wook, J. L., Bracken, W., Iyoho, C., & Tucker, M. (2016). Enhancing and evaluating critical thinking dispositions and holistic student learning and development through integrative inquiry. In M. J. Bresciani Ludvik (Ed.), The neuroscience of learning and development (pp. 234–265). Stylus. Finley, A. (2021). How college contributes to workforce success. Association of American Colleges & Universities. files/research/AACUEmployerReport2021.pdf Finley, A., & McNair, T (2013). Assessing underserved students’ engagement in high-impact practices. AAC&U. assessinghips/AssessingHIPS_TGGrantReport.pdf

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Gurin, P., Dey, E. L., Hurtado, S., & Gurin, G. (2002). Diversity and higher education: Theory and impact on educational outcomes. Harvard Educational Review, 72(3), 330–366. Healthy Minds Network. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on college student well-being.­content/uploads/2020/07/ Healthy_Minds_NCHA_COVID_Survey_Report_FINAL.pdf Hurtado, S., & Guillermo-Wann, C. (2013). Diverse learning environments: Assessing and creating conditions for student success – Final report to the Ford Foundation. Higher Education Research Institute. https://www.heri.ucla. edu/ford/DiverseLearningEnvironments.pdf Hurtado, S., & Ruiz, A. (2012). The climate for underrepresented groups and diversity on campus. HERI Research Brief online. URMBriefReport.pdf Tinto, V. (2017). Through the eyes of students. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice, 19(3), 254–269. https://doi. org/10.1177/1521025115621917 US Department of Education. (2019). Digest of education statistics, Table 306.10. US Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics.




AANAPISI, see Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution African American, 2, 13, 24, 30, 66, 73, 106, 108, 128, 129, 180n1, 205, 212, 213, 217, 223, 265–277, 284, 286, 287, 289–291, 293, 296, 297, 303, 315–317 Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-­Serving Institution (AANAPISI), 284

Black, 4, 20–22, 24, 45, 46, 51, 65, 66, 73, 106, 178–183, 180n1, 185, 188, 193, 195, 205, 212, 213, 217, 223, 268, 271, 274, 276, 277, 283–308, 315 Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), 2, 261, 265, 315, 316 C

COVID-19, 6, 11, 15, 27, 43–52, 78, 86–88, 92, 94–96, 135, 136, 177, 178, 182, 189, 205, 206, 208–211, 213, 215, 224, 248, 260, 261, 268, 270–272, 314, 319

 Note: Page numbers followed by ‘n’ refer to notes.


© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2022 M. Bonous-Hammarth (ed.), Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher Education, Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality,


324 Index F


First-generation, 12, 24, 63, 85–96, 137, 150, 155, 157, 171, 204, 216, 224, 297, 298, 313, 319

Minority Serving Institution (MSI), 14, 209, 213, 284, 285, 305 O

Organizational change, 9, 10, 317 G

Gender equity, 13, 178–180, 188, 193, 313 H

High impact practices (HIPs), 10, 21, 103, 224, 269, 274, 316 Hispanics, 2, 4, 20, 21, 24, 58, 60, 73, 75, 77, 209, 223, 268, 271, 274, 284, 287, 315, 317 Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), 22, 63, 64, 66, 67, 209, 284, 305 HSI, see Hispanic Serving Institution


Pandemic, 5, 7, 11, 43, 46, 47, 50, 78, 79, 94–96, 135, 177–179, 183, 204–211, 213–215, 218, 220–222, 224, 235, 248, 255, 260–262, 268, 271, 319 Persistence, 4, 67, 104, 106, 108, 132, 216, 217, 224, 266, 268, 269 S

Salary equity, 190 U


Indigenous people, 4, 251, 254, 260 Intersectionality, 12, 14–15, 55–79, 179, 313, 314

Universal design, 13, 240–242, 312 Urbanization, 1–15, 100, 108, 109 W


Latinx, 11, 55n1, 58, 59, 64, 68, 78, 212 LGBTQ, 107–109, 130, 132, 137, 213

Women, 2, 4, 10, 12, 20, 45, 58, 104, 110, 129, 130, 177–186, 188–191, 193–196, 266, 268, 271, 272, 287, 313, 315 Women of color, 178–180, 182, 188, 190, 191, 194, 195