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Student Involvement & Academic Outcomes

Implications for Diverse College Student Populations


Edited By Donald Jr. Mitchell, Krista M. Soria, Elizabeth A. Daniele and John A. Gipson

Student Involvement and Academic Outcomes links student involvement to tangible academic outcomes (i.e., GPAs, retention rates, graduation rates). This is particularly important for diverse student populations (e.g., underrepresented minority, first-generation college, and low-income students) who now make up a significant portion (and will soon become the majority) of U.S. college students. The text is a valuable tool for higher education administrators, faculty, staff, graduate students, parents, students, and scholars alike. In addition, the volume is ideal for master’s and doctoral programs in higher education and student affairs-related fields and for courses that examine issues/experiences associated with diverse U.S. college students, student affairs intervention strategies, racial and ethnic diversity in higher education, and critical/contemporary issues in higher education.
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Chapter Three: Elevating the Academic Success of Working-class College Students through High-impact Educational Practices


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Elevating THE Academic Success OF Working-class College Students through High-impact Educational Practices


Scholars continue to point toward the importance of social class in understanding undergraduate students’ success in higher education. In particular, scholars have long substantiated that students from working-class backgrounds remain historically underrepresented in higher education—especially at four-year institutions—are less prepared for college, have lower grade point averages while in college, and are significantly less likely to persist to graduation as compared to their peers from middle- or upper-class families (Dickbert-Conlin & Rubenstein, 2007; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Soria & Stebleton, 2013; Terenzini, Cabrera, & Bernal, 2001; Tinto, 2006, 2012). Working-class students tend to be the first in their families to earn a college education, come from low-income families, and are often students of color (Soria, 2012; Soria & Barratt, 2012). Additionally, working-class students’ parents are often employed in occupations that are low in prestige, power, and income (Barratt, 2011). Parental resources—including finances, social networks, and knowledge of high-status culture—greatly advantage affluent students in nearly every aspect of the college-going experience from admission to graduation (Armstrong & Hamilton, 2013; Goldrick-Rab, 2006; Lucas, 2001); consequently, working-class students tend to be disadvantaged in several aspects of college attendance, including their academic and social integration (Rubin, 2012; Soria, 2012; Soria & Bultmann, in press; Soria, Stebleton, & Huesman, 2013-2014). ← 41 | 42 →

After several decades of analysis, it is apparent that...

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