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About This Book
Historically, higher education was designed for a narrow pool of privileged students. Despite national, state and institutional policies developed over time to improve access, higher education has only lately begun to address how its unexamined assumptions, practices and climate create barriers for poor and working class populations and lead to significant disparities in degree completion across social classes.The data shows that higher education substantially fails to provide poor and working class students with the necessary support to achieve the social mobility and success comparable to the attainments of their middle and upper class peers. This book presents a comprehensive range of strategies that provide the fundamental supports that poor and working-class students need to succeed while at the same time dismantling the inequitable barriers that make college difficult to navigate.Drawing on the concept of the student-ready college, and on emerging research and practices that colleges and universities can use to explore campus-specific social class issues and identify barriers, this book provides examples of support programs and services across the field of higher education – at both two- and four-year, public and private institutions – that cover:
- Access supports. Examples and recommendations for how institutions can assist students as they make decisions about applications and admission.
- Basic needs supports. Covering housing and food security, necessary clothing, sense of belonging through co-curricular engagement, and mental health resources.
- Academic and learning supports. Describes courses and academic programs to promote full engagement among poor and working class students.
- Advising supports. Illustrates advising that acknowledges poor and working class students' identities, and recommends continued training for both staff and faculty advisors.
- Supports for specific populations at the intersection of social class with other identities, such as Students of Color, foster youth, LGBTQ, and doctoral students.
- Gaining support through external partnerships with social services, business entities, and fundraising.
This book is addressed to administrators, educators and student affairs personnel, urging them to make the institutional commitment to enhance the college experience for poor and working class students who not only represent a substantial proportion of college students today, but constitute a significant future demographic.