Inside this Issue
- WHY RACE MATTERS
- COURSE HIGHLIGHT: ISSUES OF ACCESS & OPPORTUNITY
- HESA UPDATES
- DU @ ASHE 2015
Race matters in the study of higher education and it matters beyond the numbers. While shifting racial and ethnic demographics across the country, dynamic immigration trends, and historic inequalities against communities-of-color are compelling in and of themselves, race matters in the study of higher education for a reason fundamental to its purpose and role in the U.S. As a social institution of democracy, higher education both reflects and produces societal values and ethics. The knowledge imperative of Academe demands that we recognize how inequality is perpetuated through and within higher education – we must contend with the world as it is. Yet the knowledge imperative provides us the opportunity to demonstrate alternative realities; as a social institution, we can build the world as it should be. Rigorous and sophisticated scholarship of research, teaching, and service is required for building such a radical social imaginary. These are precisely the goals and outcomes the Higher Education Department designs to achieve. We are not perfect in our quest for realizing a more equitable social imaginary, but we cannot let our imperfection diminish our resolve. To these ends, HED is responding proactively to student protests across the nation. We are leading college- and campus-wide conversations about race and college racial climates. We are tailoring our curricula to take advantage of the real-world struggles in our midst while honoring (and when appropriate, joining) those who are most directly affected by such struggle. We have developed a resource page for students, staff, and faculty, available here: http://bit.ly/1PjdboQ. Our commitment to inclusive excellence is resolute in this matter. Race matters in the study of higher education.
Taught by Dr. Judy Marquez Kiyama, this course addresses theories and research on a variety of issues related to college preparation, school structures, and inequalities in college access. The course covers different levels of analyses: theoretical, individual levels (i.e., race, ethnicity, and social class), organizational levels (family, geography, high school context, and outreach), and field levels (i.e., policy, testing, rankings, media, and policy). Special attention is paid to the socio-cultural context, particularly on the role of families. The course is required for first-year masters students and open to all students in the HED department.
Two sections of the course are being offered in the winter quarter, a case study (mini research) section and a service-learning section. Students in the service learning section will have the opportunity to partner with a community organization that focuses on issues of college access, transition, and success with the goal of bridging theory and research with hands on experience. Students will complete approximately 15 hours of service during the winter quarter. The service learning section has evolved in two, new exciting ways. First, students work with their service partners for 20 weeks instead of 10. What this means is that the service experience continues into the Retention & Persistence course offering both students and our community partners continuity in the experience and a more meaningful opportunity to engage in issues of college access and success. Second, in addition to the community partners we have worked with in the past: the Denver Scholarship Foundation, College Track, and RISE Colorado; we are partnering with a new organization, The Bridge Project. The Bridge Project provides a path for youth in Denver’s public housing neighborhoods to graduate from high school and go on to college or a vocation by engaging them in educational opportunities and facilitating the development of life skills and self-sufficiency. We are grateful for the strong partnerships that have been created across the community and look forward to a great winter quarter!
Hello HESA Community! It was a busy but great fall quarter for HESA so we thought we’d share some of our accomplishments and updates:
The 40th Annual ASHE meeting “Inequality &Higher Education” was held in Denver and the Higher Education Department was there to represent. Combined, students and faculty from HED participated in the delivery of 19 sessions. Additionally, HED students and faculty served as chairs, discussants, or committee members of an additional 11 sessions. In terms of attendance, over 30 students and faculty were present.
Brenda: I was invited to participate in a Presidential session; the session was a panel discussing the experiences of first generation students. I was asked to share my personal story and my thoughts on the documentary First Generation. It was a great honor to be invited to participate in such a special session as a graduate student. While I was excited to share my story, I was nervous to be so open to a group of people that I did not know. However, being able to share my story for a larger purpose such as helping to inform researchers of the struggles that first generation students encounter in doctoral programs was very impactful for others and myself.
Brenda: Despite having the conference in our own backyard it was great to be exposed to other professionals who flew in from across the country. It was also a great way to connect with fellow DU students and other graduate students.
Brenda: This was my first ASHE, however, I have been to other larger academic conferences. At larger academic conferences you have to navigate your way amongst multiple hotels in order to find sessions. One of the perks of ASHE is its size and the sense of community it builds. Having the conference here in Denver allowed us to have a large representation from DU, which meant I was able to connect with fellow colleagues with whom I have limited interaction.
Brenda: All the session made an impact on me, however, I would say the session entitled “The Civic Engagement Movement: A Symposium and Participatory History”, made me critically reflect upon the role of civic engagement in communities of color. As someone who has done civic engagement work in the past this session made me reconsider the ways that students of color participate in civic engagement action. I specifically thought about the Black Lives Matter movement and the current racial climate across the nation and on higher education campuses.
Brenda: The field of higher education is very complex. By examining the conference program, you could see that there were many topics being covered along with multiple perspectives within the field of higher education. I think it is important as graduate students that we are able to fully understand the impact of research. Regardless of your career path-as a practitioner or a faculty member- research should always be influencing the way we work. The conference brought attention to the changes that are affecting our field and encouraged me to stay current with the research that can enable programs to be successful.
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