This week continues National Hispanic Heritage Month, and at Innovative Educators we want to ensure we honor this month as a time for reflection, learning and celebration of the diversity across the Latinx community. In 2019, 21.7% of undergraduates were Latinx, the second largest ethnic group enrolled at the undergraduate level.
A new initiative by the Lumina Foundation seeks to address the educational pathway needs and lived experiences of adult students of color. The Racial Equity for Adult Credentials in Higher Education (REACH) Collaborative is an $8 million, two-year investment in community colleges in 6 states. Schools involved will create pathways to high-quality non-degree credentials embedded in associate degree programs. California, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia “were selected for their efforts to serve and support adult learners and demonstrated commitment to equitable student success.” Core elements of the REACH pathways include wraparound supports and culturally sustaining practices. Lumina’s goal with the program is to see at least a 2% increase in high-quality credential attainment and outcomes over the next two years.
“If you start doing a new task, and you feel competent in it, and you feel connected with others, and you feel autonomous in doing the task, you’ve chosen to do it...you’ll want to do it more. And you’ll be interested in learning.” Explaining intrinsic motivation in students - Julien Bureau, associate professor at Université Laval in Quebec
This week the Hechinger Report reviews research on what motivates students. Two conclusions stand out: teachers are more influential than parents in motivating students to learn and there are three critical components of internal motivation. The three needs are competency, belonging and autonomy. Students who express competency, in this research, have confidence that they’re capable of learning content. “Students who have a strong sense of competence are likely to think that they’ll get better grades if they study or they’ll succeed if they do an exercise.” The research also indicates that internal motivation matters and is most strongly associated with success in school, persistence and well-being. “By contrast, motivation that is driven by a desire to obtain rewards or avoid punishment was the least beneficial and associated with lower well-being.”
Research sponsored by the University of North Carolina system found that the state’s HBCUs are attracting adult learners. Fayetteville State University adult students make up 48 percent of the college’s student body. Elizabeth City State University has seen a nearly 50 percent increase in adult learners in the last two years; they now make up 22 percent of the student population. In an effort to support adult learners, the Lumina Foundation is providing grants of $175,000 to five HBCUs in North Carolina: Fayetteville State, Johnson C. Smith University, Elizabeth City State, Winston-Salem State and Shaw University. Administrators are developing programs to address the needs adult learners have as they are more likely to work full time and be caring for children while they attend school.
10 years after graduating from college, first-generation students earn substantially less than their classmates whose parents finished college.
Wired examines new research indicating that first generation college students struggle to compete in the job market with their “better-coached and better-connected classmates.” Many first generation students surveyed indicated that they did not have experience in the basics of a professional job search like how to write a resume or prepare for a formal interview nor did they have people in their lives who can help. Researchers cite that first-generation graduates often accept job offers more quickly, in positions they are overqualified for, and make less money. Institutions like Cal State Fullerton are launching specific career services programs focused on first-generation college success in an effort to provide better support. At the same time, potential employers such as Capital One are investing in first-generation programming at colleges and universities to connect students to mentors and career resources.
Looking to learn more? These upcoming webinars may be of interest:
October 1, 2021