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Getting College Ready

Latin@ Student Experiences of Race, Access, and Belonging at Predominantly White Universities


Julie Minikel-Lacocque

Getting College Ready: Latin@ Student Experiences of Race, Access, and Belonging at Predominantly White Universities challenges the way we conceive of college access, retention, and success for underrepresented students writ large. Specifically, through presenting an in-depth, qualitative case study on six Latin@ students transitioning to a public, predominantly White university, it examines what the institution does, or doesn’t do, to meet the needs of these students. This book seamlessly combines the topics of college access and the transition to college for underrepresented students; it offers a comprehensive review of what we already know about underrepresented students in college and how they get there; it challenges some of this existing literature; and throughout, it weaves in the compelling voices and experiences of the study’s focal students and staff members tasked with supporting them. This thoughtful study demands that we reconsider the ways in which we understand college access, school success, college preparation, the tenuous relationship between religious fundamentalism and public education, and conceptions of race and racism. Indeed, this work calls into question what it means to be «college ready».
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Chapter 6. “You See the Whole Tree, Not Just the Stump”



Religious Fundamentalism, Capital, and Public Schooling

[Author’s Note: Portions of this chapter were originally accepted for publication in Curriculum Inquiry (Minikel-Lacocque 2015. “You See the Whole Tree, Not Just the Stump”: Religious Fundamentalism, Capital, and Public Schooling. Curriculum Inquiry Copyright © 2015. The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, Wiley.]

You start connecting [things]. It’s like you see the whole tree, not just the stump. Here at CMU, education-wise, it’s really hard. They really want you to think in a different way. It’s like, ‘Make your own idea about it. I don’t want you to think what I’m telling you., It’s so hard because I’m so used to being told what I need to think. —Jasmine

A recent report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) details its current vision for higher education in the U.S., titled, “Liberal Education and America’s Promise,” or “LEAP.” In this context, “liberal” is not a reference to political leanings; rather, it refers to the type of education described and promoted in the 2011 AAC&U report discussed here.

Taking into consideration the changing landscape of the global economy as well as input from employers, the AAC&U describes its “New Framework for Excellence” as,

← 125 | 126 →… education that intentionally fosters, across multiple fields of study, wide-ranging knowledge if science, cultures,...

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