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D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 2 | S p e c i a l

I s s u e

A Better Year,

A Better World







P A G E 4


P A G E 5



Leah P. Hollis

P A G E 7






Carlos Nicolas Gómez Marchant and

Eric Cordero-Siy

P A G E 1 0



Stephanie J. Blackmon

P A G E 1 3



Tammie May


P A G E 1 5




Dwayne Hamilton, Jr.

P A G E 1 8






Tyler Hodges

P A G E 2 1






Amie Macbeth

P A G E 2 4





Tamara H. Shetron

P A G E 2 8


Letter from

the Editors

By showcasing promising educational practices and innovations,

The PEN hopes to create spaces that not only support the academic

and social-emotional needs of students and faculty, but also serve

as pathways to professional stability for our scholars and


We are honored to reintroduce AERA's postsecondary education newsletter, The

Pen, as an academic forum where members can showcase their work and gain

insights into a variety of topics and issues across the higher education landscape.

The eight articles in this special issue emerged under a common theme of “care” and

include stories, strategies, and best practices that explore how conditions of care affect

faculty, staff, students, families, and communities.

What is she worth? A message to hiring authorities issues a call to action to address

inequities and disparities that can diminish the perception of a woman's value in higher

education. The authors of Were We Supposed to Bring Flowers?: A Counter-story on

Distancing and Disconnection while Assimilating bring to light both the discomfort and pride

exuded by families of first-generation students navigating unfamiliar postsecondary


Speaking to the role of student voice in creating positive conditions for care, Technology &

Privacy: The Importance of Student Voice offers student-centered privacy policies when

implementing new technologies in higher education, and The Student Voice is Heard:

Teacher Matters highlights the role of teachers and first-generation students' academic


Their Needs are not my Needs: Equity-Centered Care for Students of Color underscores the

value of centering equity as the foundation of the culture of care model to properly serve

all students. In A Seat at The Table: Personal & Professional Strategies of Resistance Black

Women Professionals Can Adapt While Employed at a PWI, the author addresses creating

conditions for belonging and thriving for Black women professional at predominately

white institutions. Collegiate Student-Athlete Mental Health Concerns and Steps to Improve

Support Systems discusses the importance of mental health practices for student athletes,

and to conclude the articles of the special edition, Inclusive Postsecondary Education for

Students with Intellectual Disability: “IPSE” the New Campus Population discusses best

practices for creating an inclusive campus that can better serve the student population

with intellectual disabilities.

The pieces selected in this edition of The Pen invite us to critically analyze our previous

practices and how these affect everyone touched by higher education. By intentionally

employing a culture of care, we can create more inclusive environments that serve


We hope that conversations about the culture of care on college and university campuses

will be enriched and expanded beyond this space.

Tameka Porter, Ph.D. | Editor

Dr. Porter is a Senior Researcher at the

American Institutes for Research (AIR). Her

research interests include equitable access

to postsecondary education and

frameworks for equitable postsecondary

hiring practices.

Alice Lee | Managing Co-Editor

Ms. Lee is a third year PhD student in the

Center for the Study of Higher Education at

the University of Arizona. Her research

interests include college financing models

and family engagement in Higher Education.

Talia Raya| Managing Co-Editor

Ms. Raya is a third year PhD student in the

Center for the Study of Higher Education at

the University of Arizona. Her research

interests include stratification within higher

education, distance learning and Latinx

student success.

Contact: aera.thepen@gmail.com





L E A H P . H O L L I S

L e a h P . H o l l i s E d . D , i s a n A s s o c i a t e P r o f e s s o r a t M o r g a n S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , i s a n o t e d

n a t i o n a l a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a l e x p e r t o n w o r k p l a c e b u l l y i n g . H e r m o s t r e c e n t b o o k , B l a c k

W o m e n , I n t e r s e c t i o n a l i t y , a n d W o r k p l a c e B u l l y i n g : I n t e r s e c t i n g D i s t r e s s , ( R o u t l e d g e

2 0 2 2 ) i s a n e x t e n s i o n o f h e r w o r k o n b u l l y i n g i n h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n .

When a dean or provost returns home and takes a

moment to watch the children playing, the

observation does not reveal a gender-based

deficiency. The daughter, niece, or granddaughter is

not reduced to 2/3s of a person. She does not

withhold a third of her laughter compared to her

brothers. The young heroine has a full head of hair,

not missing a third of her ponytails, a third of her

energy, or a third of her creativity. A third of her face

is not missing, nor a third of her tears should she

skin her knee. When she was born, her mother did

not have third less pain or buy a third fewer diapers

and baby formula. She does not get cake with a

third of it missing for her birthday.

Certainly, a girl should not be loved a third less.

These questions are disconcerting that someone’s

daughter, niece, or granddaughter is worth only 2/3s

of the boys, yet that is the message telegraphed to

women facing unequal pay. The idea of only 2/3s of

one’s daughter playing on a swing set is absurd, yet

this is what employers do when they illegally pay

women a third less than men for the same work.

The American Association of University Women

(AAUW) reports that the average salary disparity for

all women is 83%, with the widest gap occurring for

women ages 55- 64 (AAWU, n.d). When data is

further analyzed, women of color endure more

severe inequities. Latinas make 55 cents less;

Indigenous women make 60 cents less, and Black

women make 63 cents less than their male

counterparts. Further, AAUW reported a

motherhood penalty where moms make only 71% of

what their male counterparts make.

At one time in United States history, disenfranchised

enslaved people were reduced to 3/5s of a person to

please Southern male aristocratic slaveowners. By

first enslaving and then reducing enslaved people to

3/5’s value of a man gave Southern male aristocrats

more political power. The 3/5’s compromise which

was proposed in 1787 stood as policy in America for

78 years until the 13th Amendment abolished it with

slavery in 1865; in 1868, the 14th Amendment and its

equal protection clause totally eradicated the 3/5’s


compromise (Nittle, 2020). Disenfranchising

communities of color for political gain occurs when

organizations refuse to follow one of several

unequal pay laws. The 1963 Equal Pay Act

supposedly ended gender-based pay; however, a

complainant had to file a charge within 180 days of

the last discriminatory paycheck. Employees

typically do not know their colleagues’ salaries only

six months into the job. In 2009, President Barack

Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act,

which bolster protections for underpaid women

(Lyons, 2013). As of 2022, 42 of 50 states have passed

state legislation to strengthen worker’s pay equity

rights. Despite these laws, Capatosto (2022)

reported that pay gaps are evident in every

academic discipline (Johnston, 2017). Further,

colleges and universities promote men to full

professors faster, which means higher salaries for

men. Consequently, a CUP-HR report confirmed

that an average 20,000 pay gap for women faculty

have been sustained for at least 15 years after several

federal and state laws prohibit pay inequity


Sound policy has helped the country evolve into

more fairness in the workplace for women; however,

as evidenced by AAUW and CUP-HR, the higher

education sector still lacks equal pay compliance.

Hence, to avoid practices that reduce women to 2/3s

of men, analogous to how powerful men reduced

enslaved people to 3/5s of a person, pay equity is a

promise left unfilled on a grand scale in higher

education. Inevitably, not only are woman and

particularly women of color disenfranchised on a

large scale, but women are also challenging the

illegal practice in greater numbers. Compliance with

federal and state law is critical for all parties, so

higher education can engage in the substantial

business of educating students and solving critical

societal issues. Daughters, nieces, and

granddaughters deserve pay equity and equal

protection as guaranteed in the constitution.

Creating policy that further threatens college and

university goals to secure student financial aid until

federal laws are taken seriously may be the strong

impetus to foster pay equity.

The higher education sector refusing to pay women

equitably violates federal policy and scores of state

legislation prohibiting the inequitable practice.

Clearly, colleges and universities do not adopt

consistent compliance with pay inequity laws. With

this in mind, one might look to other laws and

policies which have priority. For example, when

colleges and universities fail to manage other fiscal

areas such as students’ loans, or inappropriate

funding from athletic boosters, auditors and

accreditors can render a school ineligible to receive

Title IV student financial aid funding. If the federal

government adopted such consequences for

systemic noncompliance with pay equity laws,

colleges and universities plausibly would prioritize

pay equity.


American Association of University Women (n.d.) Workplace and economic equity.


Bichsel, J., & McChesney, J. (2017, February). The gender pay gap and the representation of women in higher

education administrative positions: The century so far. CUPA-HR. www.cupahr.org/surveys/briefs.aspx

Capatosto, K. (2022). Advancing Equal Pay in Higher Education: An Intersectional Examination of Structures,

Socialization, and Solutions to Close the Gender Wage Gap. In Bridging Marginality through Inclusive Higher

Education (pp. 177-202). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-8000-7_9

Henretta, J. A., Edwards, R., & Self, R. O. (2011). America's History, Volume 1: To 1877. New York. Worth

publishers. Macmillan.

Johnson, H. L. (2017). Pipelines, pathways, and institutional leadership: An update on the status of women in

higher education. American Council on Education. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/HES-Pipelines-


Lyons. S (2013). Why the law should intervene to disrupt pay-secrecy norms: analyzing the Lilly Ledbetter

Fair Pay Act through the lens of social norms. Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, 46(3), 361–(add

page) http://jlsp.law.columbia.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2017/03/46-Lyons.pdf

Nittle, N. (2020). How grandfather clauses disenfranchised black voters in the US. Thought Co.



Were We Supposed to Bring Flowers?:

A Counter-story on Distancing and


Disconnection while Assimilating

C a r l o s N i c o l a s G ó m e z M a r c h a n t , P h . D

a n d E r i c C o d e r o - S i y , P h . D .

Carlos Nicolas Gómez Marchant is an assistant professor of STEM

education at the University of Texas at Austin. He wants to learn more

about the experiences of elementary Latiné learners navigating

predominantly white schools.

Eric Cordero-Siy is a clinical assistant professor in the Boston University

Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. He wants to learn

how mathematics education plays a role in upholding systems of

oppression both inside and outside school.

My hands grip the large black book

Ignacio gave me. He handed it to me

at the entrance of the arena. He

called it his dissertation as I hugged

it to my chest. “Gracias mijo,” barely

escaped my lips from the joy of being

given a piece of his new world.

Josefina and I stood there. He waved

and lovingly smiled at us as he

disappeared inside, just like he did

when he was eight, excited for

second grade. We followed other

families into the closest entrance.

“Aquí es donde entran los demas,” I

said, leaning towards Josefina. We

slowly walked into the large arena

and made sure to get the best view

of the stage. I could hear Josefina’s

laughter as I tried different seats, all

the while refusing to let go of

Ignacio’s book.


We’re now in perfect seats, his book lying gently on my lap. I refuse

to let go, remembering all the years of tearful phone calls. Those

calls were the most painful. All I could do was listen. I had no

advice to give. He talked about things like qualifying exams,

conferences, and defenses. I didn’t know what these were. I felt

helpless—distant from what he was going through. “Keep going.

Estoy contigo en la lucha.” But beyond encouraging words, what

else could I do?



Leaning back in my seat and ignoring what’s

happening on the stage, I let my fingers glide

over Ignacio’s name in gold lettering on the

cover and read the title out loud, Somos más

Juntos que Separados: A Freirean Exploration of

Latine Learners’ and Teachers’ Dialogical

Problem Posing Practices. I sigh. Quiero ser parte

de lo que está haciendo. His voice echoed, “my

investigation es para la comunidad. ” I open the

book to the dedication page, “For Raul and

Josefina. For all the sacrifices you made for our

education.” I tear up. “Pero no te entiendo.” I say

this out loud to the dissertation. It’s a puzzle

taunting me. It’s dedicated to us but I can’t get

past the first few pages. But it’s okay. I want to

connect with him, but this disconnection is

necessary for his success.



The screaming family next to me startles us. On

stage, they are hooding a young white woman.

She wore the $1400 regalia. Ignacio told us about

it. Why would something so expensive look so

unattractive? Ignacio borrowed his black robe

from a friend, but proudly shared he bought the

$80 hat as his keepsake. Underneath though,

he’s wearing the suit we bought him. I insisted we

get him one, como todos ellos en la torre. He

looked nervous, but like one of them. Sigh. That

other family takes up so many seats. We could

never fill so many seats. Javi couldn’t get off

work today. Each of them with a bouquet of

flowers. It’s just me and Josefina. Were we

supposed to bring flowers? Josefina points to the

line by the stage, “ahí está.” I see him for a

second before he walks up.


“Ignacio Prats Cordero.” The space fills with his name, and I scream. Josefina

screams. I never knew we could scream so loud, and yet, I want it to be

louder. I want windows to shatter, walls to crack, and the earth to shake in his

honor. I pushed my lungs for more. It feels primordial like his ancestors are

here being part of this moment. My throat hurts. I want him to know we are

here. Don’t lose us in the crowd. I want Ignacio to know WE ARE HERE. ¡NO



ENOUGH. You may not see us, but you will hear our voice. YOU will not be held

captive quietly. I open my eyes, lungs burning, and the hood coming down.

Our eyes meet—Ignacio flashes me his loving smile; that same loving smile.



1. Our goal with this counter-story (Solórzano & Yosso, 2002) is to

highlight the distancing from our families we have felt as early

Scholars of Color entering the white institutional spaces of

academia (see Moore, 2008; Bracey & McIntosh, 2020). The

distancing from our communities is an intentional practice of the

institutions to maintain white supremacy. Like Solórzano and Yoso

(2002) suggest, we weave in our own experiences, the literature,

and other sources to help us to construct the narrative. We hope

others reflect on distancing and continue to consider how

assimilation (or massification) can be resisted.

2. APA dictates other languages readers may not be familiar with

need to be italicized. We choose not to do this to the Spanish in this

piece because it is not unfamiliar to the main character. The

discourse of academia, however, is.

3. Inspired by Anzaldua’s (2015) opening chapter and how she signs

off to the reader.

4. There is a need for us in the academy to continue questioning

the connections our work makes with communities investigated

and what the academy values. As Fine et al. (2000) asked, for whom

is our research and what are our responsibilities to participating


5. As much as we do not want to center whiteness, our families

promoted assimilation because of financial and personal protection

provided by education. In a way, they want us to act like the

oppressors to avoid oppression (Freire, 2018)

6. A reference to the tower at the University of Texas at Austin

where the administration offices are held. Most universities have

nicknames for these central hubs.

7. Guzman (2019, p. 341).


Anzaldua, G. E. (2015). Light in the dark/Luz en lo oscuro: Rewriting identity,

spirituality, and reality. Duke University Press.

Bracey, G. E. & McIntosh, D. F. (2020). The chronicle of the resurrection

regalia: Or why every Black hire is the first. American Behavioral Scientist,

64(14), 1961–1974. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764220975087

Fine, M., Weis, L., Weseen, S., & Wong, L. (2000). For whom?:

Qualitative research representations, and social responsibilities. In N. K.

Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 163–

188). Sage.

Freire, P. (2018). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Bloomsbury.

Guzman, L. D. (2019). Academia will not save you: Stories of being

continually “underrepresented. Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, 9(1),

326–343. https://doi.org/10.5642/jhummath.201901.20

Moore, W. L. (2008). Reproducing racism: White space, elite law schools, and

racial inequality. Rowman & Littlefield.

Solórzano, D. G. & Yosso, T. J. (2002). Critical race methodology:

Counter-storytelling as an analytical framework for education research.

Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 23–44.



Technology & Privacy: The Importance of

Student Voice

Stephanie J. Blackmon, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephanie J. Blackmon is an Associate Professor of Higher Education at The College of William &

Mary. Her research explores the qualitative experiences people have with technology integration in higher

education and professional development settings; experiential learning in technology-related settings; and

trust, privacy, and security with the use of analytics, apps, and other technologies.

In postsecondary education, discussions about

technology integration often revolve around what a

particular technology can do: help increase

engagement, track participation, monitor course

performance, track access and logins, etc. However,

technology privacy is an integral aspect of technology

integration, and students’ voices should be included

in that aspect of postsecondary educational


There are myriad applications (apps), learning

analytics dashboards, and other tools that have

become regularly integrated into postsecondary

education. Many of these tools track and collate

students’ data as a means of student support, but

students are rarely consulted or informed about how

these systems use their data (Ifenthaler & Tracey,

2016). Furthermore, students with disabilities

sometimes have to share more information with

technology platforms or tools in order for those tools

to foster accessibility (Blackmon et al., 2022).

Although colleges and universities must adhere to the

Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA),

FERPA does not always offer the same protections

when technology companies partner with universities,

leading to an ambiguity regarding student data that

students may not always know is there (Paris et al.,


Any postsecondary students can be impacted by

breaches and other concerns related to these

various technologies, but for students with

disabilities, the harm of a data breach may be

greater in some cases because, as noted, students

with disabilities ometimes share more

information so that materials are more accessible.

Therefore, it is imperative that postsecondary

institutions include students’ voices when

integrating technology.

Infinite Impossibilities?

The matter of student privacy is incredibly

complex, which means that getting student input

on matters of privacy is also complex.

Instructors, administrators, and even students

themselves may find the task of determining

privacy permissions overwhelming. In the case of

students with disabilities, navigating the area of

privacy permissions may be even more onerous

considering how many of those students are still

fighting to have accessibility and usability with

standard technologies like learning management

systems (LMSs) (Brito & Dias, 2020).

THE PEN | 10

However, getting student input does not mean

overburdening students with constant questions about

their privacy preferences; it means taking a more

inclusive approach to the overall integration of

technology in higher education, with a particular

focus on students’ specific and often intersectional


Prior to the development of the Institutional Review

Board (IRB), people probably thought that it was

untenable to get participants' informed consent prior

to conducting research, but now IRB approval is an

automatic part of the research process. The same

possibilities exist for student voice in technology

integration, and postsecondary institutions must not

wait for larger, more harmful data breaches before

addressing the issue of inclusive privacy practices.

A Proposed Path Forward

Strategies for inclusive privacy practices will

necessarily change (and expand) over time, but the

following three strategies provide a good starting


Student technology privacy needs assessment.

Postsecondary institutions often conduct needs

assessments on various aspects of students'

experiences, and their privacy needs are no exception.

Faculty, administrators, teaching and learning centers,

and student centers often survey students at the

beginning of a semester or academic year. Those

anonymized assessments should include questions

about privacy implications for technology integration.

For example, administrators and faculty often

integrate social media into activities or courses, but

some students are not comfortable with their personal

and professional lives intersecting (Blackmon, 2018).

However, instructors and administrators may not

know this, and students may feel uncomfortable

discussing it for fear of seeming disagreeable. A few

questions about technology privacy needs can bring

that potential privacy concern to the forefront and

create a space for students to voice their perspectives

on technology privacy. It’s possible that some

students may not want to engage with certain

platforms because of privacy concerns, and assessing

students’ technology privacy needs can help them to

share that.

The survey results can be disseminated the same

way postsecondary institutions share other

materials that they want instructors,

administrators, and students to use for the

upcoming year.

Talk about technology and privacy.

Conversations about data privacy in technology

integration are a form of digital literacy

(Blackmon & Moore, 2020) and, furthermore, are

part and parcel to technology integration. These

conversations are not a replacement for the

critical work of informational technology (IT) or

data offices; they are complementary to that

work. The more postsecondary institutions

integrate technology, the more they should

prepare students for the implications of that

integration. That is a vital skill for being an

informed student and an informed citizen. The

conversations can happen before any activities

that integrate technology or at the beginning of a

course that integrates technology. Students

should be aware of what happens with their data

and have a voice in aspects of their data privacy.

Just as administrators and instructors lay out

expectations for a course, they can also lay out

considerations for student privacy implications.

This does not require that every person using

technology become a data privacy expert. The

focus, instead, is on gaining a greater

understanding of what it means to incorporate

various technologies—to become more informed

integrators and consumers of technology—and to

seek support from those with technology

expertise, if necessary, when planning to

integrate a new technology.

THE PEN | 11

Leveraging current privacy support. For

technologies like LMSs, universities have already

vetted the various systems. Therefore, the focus can

move to institutional transparency about technology

privacy. If students or instructors have questions

about how an LMS uses students’ data, then they can

refer to materials that the university has already

compiled. These materials can be posted in plain

language on the appropriate area of an institution's

website. For any technologies that are newly

incorporated at the program or classroom level, those

incorporating the technologies can help students

understand the privacy implications.


Technology integration can help with everything

from course flexibility to student engagement,

and that offers a number of exciting possibilities.

However, inclusive privacy practices are a key

aspect of technology integration, and students

should have more voice in the privacy

components of technology integration in

postsecondary education.


Blackmon, S. J. (2018). Beyond cybernation: Technology &

teaching in doctoral educational leadership. In L. Hyatt and

S. Allen (Eds.), Advancing doctoral leadership education

through technology (pp. 56-74). Northampton, MA: Edward


Blackmon, S. J., & Moore, R. L. (2020). A framework to

support interdisciplinary engagement with learning

analytics. In D. Ifenthaler and D. Gibson (Eds.), Adoption

of data analytics in higher education learning and teaching

(pp.). New York, NY: Springer. Retrieved from


Blackmon, S. J., Wittkower, D. E., & Lanford. T. L. (2022,

April) Trust, internet-connected devices, and the disability

community: Implications for higher education. American

Educational Research Association. Hybrid.

Brito, E., & Paiva Dias, G. (2020, June 24-27). LMS

accessibility for students with disabilities: The experts’

opinions. 15th Iberian Conference on Information Systems

and Technologies (CISTI), Seville, Spain. DOI:


Ifenthaler, D., & Tracey, M. W. (2016). Exploring the

relationship of ethics and privacy in learning analytics and

design: implications for the field of educational technology.

Educational Technology Research & Development, 64, 877-

880. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-016-9480-3

Paris, B., Reynolds, R., & McGowan, C. (2021). Sins of

omission: Critical informatics perspectives on privacy in e-

learning systems in higher education. JASIST, 73, 708-725.


THE PEN | 12



Tammie May, Ed.D.

D R . T A M M I E M A Y G R A D U A T E D F R O M B A Y L O R U N I V E R S I T Y ’ S E D U C A T I O N A L L E A D E R S H I P A N D


C O L L E G E A N D S E R V E S A S T H E E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R O F C U R R I C U L U M A N D S T U D E N T L E A R N I N G .

In a recent phenomenological study, I

investigated the perceptions and experiences

of enrollment in developmental coursework

for first-generation college students.The

study participants for this study consisted of

five first-generation community college

students enrolled in an English and a math

developmental class, and the purposive

qualitative sampling strategy used was

maximum variation. The data collection

method employed consisted of two semistructured

interviews, and the data analysis

approach used was a modification of the Van

Kaam Method of Analysis of

Phenomenological Data as described by

Moustakas (1994). The participants’ voices

represented the lived experiences of firstgeneration

developmental college students

and centered around their academic journey

and the essential role teachers play in the

students’ success.

Throughout the discussion of their

experiences in their English and math

developmental classes, the five participants

described the influence and impact of their

teacher relationships. Participant Two

highlighted the importance of relationships

with his teachers, specifically she gave him

attention, which gave him confidence.

"Our teacher is good; she really forces us to

work hard. She makes sure we finish our work

on time. Having good relationships with your

instructors is good because the relationship

gives you confidence to ask them any

question. That means a lot to me because it

feels good when you tell or when you have a

problem and you ask somebody and then

they do, or they tell you what you really want

to hear and what you really want from them.

If you don’t have good relationships with your

instructors, that’s how you end up failing


Participant Two finished by describing how

the absence of relationships with teachers

could result in his failure. Participant Four

described the impact of his teacher in his

English class and the positive influence she

had on his experience; he also described the

impact of his teachers when he was in high


"Teachers make everything great. My English

teach has refined my skill and made me a lot

better. In high school my teachers did a

phenomenal job, better than I could have

realized. Especially when it comes to the real

world because one of my teachers who I had

four years, taught me more about life than

my family."

THE PEN | 13

Participants consistently described the power

and importance of positive relationships with

their instructors and the impact on how these

students defined and created their concept

of self and their ability to be successful. When

the participants perceived a label from

teachers rooted in success, students lived to

that label. This phenomenon of teacher

expectancy is not unique to students, but this

study’s findings around first-generation

developmental college students provided an

area for future research.

Like Participant Four, Participant Five described

the influence of her English teacher and how

she makes things easy in class as well as a

teacher she had while in high school.

"It’s been really easy. I think that she’s really

helpful in how she, uh, goes step by step, trying

to help us out, make everything easy. I had this

English teacher in high school that he actually

helped me a lot in homeroom. I really

appreciate him because like, he’s always, he

always paid attention to me and would always

try to help me when I had trouble. I still to this

day, actually right now, he’s helping me write

an essay. He’s helping me trying to plan it out."

Participant Five has remained connected to her

high school English teacher which seemed to

provide a sense of support to her. All

participants spoke positively of the impact of

the relationships their instructors had on their

academic success. A key element to

understanding first-generation community

college students’ success while enrolled in

developmental coursework was the influence of

teacher relationships with the first-generation

developmental college student.

This study showed when first-generation

developmental students’ experienced positive

relationships with their teachers and

perceived success in their future, academic

success was achievable. The label of

developmental college student adds another

layer of identity that educators must

understand when considering college

students today. This awareness can inform

the redesign of a developmental curriculum

that works for students and supports their

academic success. Future research could

identify ways to enhance teacher preparation

and training when working with firstgeneration

developmental college students

to understand the importance of their role

with these students and how to bridge the

gap in supporting the students’ success.


Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research

methods. Sage.

THE PEN | 14




Dwayne Hamilton, Jr.

Dwayne Hamilton, Jr. is a 2nd-year master’s student in the Student Affairs Administration in Higher

Education program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research interests are rooted

in student-centered case management best practices with a focus on religion as a means of resistance for

Black queer men.

As higher education institutions seek to foster

student success, many have adopted a culture

of care model of student affairs practice due to

its foundational belief that with increased

levels of support, all students can be successful

in college. This model promotes departmental

partnership so that student services provide

multifaceted care through the creation of a

support network for each student, which yields

a shared responsibility for students’ success.

The result is an increase in, “the level of

service available to students; time devoted to

students in need; assistance provided in

sensitive, compassionate ways; and an

underlying philosophy that every person and

every student is valued” (Torres et al., 2016, p.


Despite the seemingly positive benefits of this

model, the increase in the support provided is

based on a definition of care that exists based

on the culture of the institution itself and by

extension, is steeped in whiteness. This

culture of care has never been based on the

individual needs of each student but instead is

driven by a positivistic definition of care and

created by a system that originally only cared

about a specific type of student: white and

from elite backgrounds. Consequently, the

current implementation of the culture of care

model causes additional harm as it further

marginalizes students of color through raceevasive

or race-neutral support.

THE PEN | 15

As practitioners begin to problematize the

current culture of care model, an important

consideration is the danger of how this model

is often implemented with a deficit mindset,

which promotes the idea that students of color

require additional support based on their

erroneously presumed lack of motivation,

drive, and resiliency. An increase in support

services is instrumental to the care of college

students, but when these services only cater to

the needs of the dominant, privileged

population, it prioritizes their need for

support while students of color are further

isolated from their institution. As a result,

these students have two options: navigate their

campus’ exclusionary culture alone or accept

“care” in the form of resources and services

that are not catered to their specific needs.

Practitioners often encourage students to

utilize these resources while ignoring the

mismatch in definitions of care because of the

misconception that “one-size-fits-all” services

are better than receiving no assistance at all.

Equity is needed as the foundation of the

culture of care model as students of color

possess forms of capital that are often

delegitimized in academic spaces since they

do not align with the dominant forms of

capital emphasized by the university culture.

The equitable assistance central to the culture

of care model is therefore focused on a

practitioner’s ability to provide additional

support to students of color based on their

cultural backgrounds and unique needs. It is

not simply supporting these students based

on the preconceived notion that they are

lacking the tools needed to succeed. I present

three efforts student affairs divisions must

enact for the culture of care model to

properly serve all students within an


Practitioners must recognize the various

consequences of not challenging the

institution’s professional environment when

attempting to create a culture of care. When

student support is catered to the dominant

population, performance metrics determine

impact by assisting the highest volume of

students. A larger population of White

students is then supported due to their

support aligning with the dominant forms

provided by the institution and therefore

yielding a higher number of student cases.

Students of color become neglected due to

the nuanced support they require taking

more time and not yielding high case

numbers. To promote equity in the

reimagined culture of care model, the

professional culture surrounding impact

should shift focus away from quantitative

data and embrace qualitative data. An office’s

impact must consider the level of impact

they’ve had on individual students through

narratives so that practitioners are not

penalized for spending additional time on


THE PEN | 16

Practitioners must provide space for students

to consider the members of their current

support network, the requirements future

members would need to meet, and the tools

they’ve used to overcome previous situations

so this information can be included in their

support plans. For instance, students of color

could feel uncomfortable with traditional

counseling spaces that weren’t emphasized in

their upbringing, so broaching this

information would allow for their unique

needs to be considered as a support network

is refined. A student could instead find

counsel in a religious leader on campus, so

removing assumptions about “traditional”

means of support could decrease the

possibility of their needs being ignored and


When the support practitioners provide to

students of color is riddled with assumptions,

microaggressions, and ineffective solutions

based on a deficit mindset, students cannot be

blamed for refusing to connect with offices

for support. Centering equity in the culture of

care model no longer allows for the

additional needs of students of color to be

seen as a burden but it instead reintroduces

and prioritizes students of color and their

specialized needs as they seek care from their



Torres, V., Schuh, J. H., & Jones, S. R. (2016). Student services: A

handbook for the profession. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.

Practitioners must build flexibility into

policies that allow them to deconstruct rigid

structures that limit the range of student

requests and practitioner responses.

Individualized support becomes more

feasible when procedures focus on guiding

students toward support instead of outlining

general support based on “what-if” scenarios.

As mental health crises continue to increase,

many culture of care models have devoted

more attention and funding to campus

counseling services as a part of a student’s

crisis management plan. As a result, many

crisis plans have requirements for students to

meet with on-campus counselors. Building

flexibility into policies requiring students to

meet with a mental health professional would

also allow students to fulfill this requirement

by meeting with counselors off campus that

may align more closely with their identities.

THE PEN | 17








Tyler Hodges

Tyler is a Doctoral Candidate in Baylor University’s EdD in Learning and Organizational Change program and plans on graduating Fall 2022. The following article reflects

portions of the author’s doctoral research that appear in Hodges, T. J. (2022). A Seat at the Table: An Instrumental Case Study on the Personal and Professional Strategies of

Resistance Black Women Professionals Adapt While Employed at a Predominantly White Institution. Her research areas centers on leveraging Black Feminist Thought as a

framework for the retention and holistic support of Black women professionals at Predominantly White Institutions.


he goal of this instrumental case study was to shed light on and give voice to the experience of Black women

professionals at a PWI. Through the personal narratives a glimpse is provided into the personal and

professional strategies adapted to resist, sustain holistic wellness, and achieve a sense of belonging. The

study also reveals the siloed plight Black women continue to face in navigating White structures, systems,

and spaces. This research serves as a call to action for PWIs seeking to implement restorative practices

and retention strategies as it pertains to Black women professionals.

Black women are key in the attrition and persistence of students of color and should be positioned in the institution as high

value stakeholders. Creating a thriving environment and cultivating culturally responsive approaches for Black women

professionals are of high priority. The landscape of higher education has shifted drastically in the past 10 years and as a

result, PWIs are met with new sets of challenges related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Human Resources

and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offices on campus are equally tasked with the responsibility of responding to the times

before us. The field of higher education is at a critical crossroad when it comes to the retention of staff. As a country, we

are facing the “Great Resignation” and institutions no doubt feels the shift. Black women are the backbone of this industry

and are an integral piece to succeeding in the next chapter post COVID-19. There needs to be a redefinition and

realignment of recruitment, retention, and engagement strategies as it relates to Black women professionals.

The implications of this research are paramount for stakeholders charged with the onboarding and recruiting of Black

women professionals. Black women professionals are systemically excluded from achieving a true sense of belonging at

PWIs. This research illuminates the need and appetite for revised policy and practice that bridge the gap in persistence

and inclusion. Failure to address the marginalized experience for Black women professionals has led to both a mass

exodus and great resignation (Clark & Mitchell, 2018; Jackson, 2007; Rothstein, 2018). Black women are neglecting their

holistic wellness in the pursuit of acculturation, hemorrhaging communities of colors’ ability to thrive. Invested stakeholders

at PWIs can disrupt their rhetoric and approach and opt for sustainable practice as it relates to Black women professionals.

The conversation of institutional value and impact of this population must be both forefront and aggressive. Institutional

human resources can begin the process of diving deeper into equitable practices for recruitment and retention.

THE PEN | 18

Participants from this study suggest robust mentoring and onboarding experiences specifically tailored to building

community and connection for Black women professionals upon entry into the institution. The first step for the institution is

the adoption of Black feminist thought as a framework for onboarding and retention programming and policy. Centering

the narratives of Black women into the fabric of the institution is a bold step towards sustained inclusion, investment, and


An intentional step further would be the adoption or development of a campus wide initiative such as, “Sister Soul GlowTM

(2022): Thriving at my PWI”, charged with one effort—retaining Black women professionals. This program will serve as a

blueprint and counterspace for navigation within this PWI. SisterSoulGlow will position the basic program tenets of

community, connection and caring as Black Women can foster and maintain sense of belonging and professional growth.

The “Sister Soul GlowTM: Thriving at my PWI” initiative is intentionally designed as a communal space where Black

women can design a thriving experience at their institution. Black women on campus should feel like they have an

extensive network invested in their professional and personal success.

The “Sister Soul GlowTM: Thriving at my PWI” initiative is intentionally designed as

a communal space where Black women can design a thriving experience at their institution

Upon hiring, participants will be onboarded and successfully integrated into the campus culture. This program is an

experiential launching pad that will funnel Black women faculty and staff into their desired respective areas of campus.

The Sister Soul GlowTM Task Force would centralize all efforts specific to the amplification and affirmation of Black

women professionals on campus. This goal, while robust, should be woven into the pedagogy and strategic plan of PWIs

as it disrupts White supremacist ideology. Human Resources and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offices could house

the recruitment, onboarding, and budgeting processes and then delegate faculty and staff across functional areas to

manage the day-to-day programmatic operations. Implementing an affinity space such as “sister circles” within this

framework expands the echo chamber of issues to a broader impact. This collective action is reflective of the Black

feminist thought approach, using community and an ethic of caring as its premise. The objective of an initiative such as

this is achieving a sense of belonging and ultimately professional retention for Black women on campus.

THE PEN | 19

PWIs are challenged to co-create restorative spaces for Black women professionals and their counterparts to engage in

safe and strategic conversations and planning. A powerful demonstration of this exchange can begin with the drafting of

anonymous letters to the PWI on their experience. These series of letters can be shared during the designated "sister

circle" and later with campus stakeholders. Black women professionals would be able to reflect and process with willing

thought partners. The goal of these sessions is to build solutions and tangible action plans that promote both resistance

and retention.


Clark, I., & Mitchell, D. (2018). Exploring the relationship between campus climate and minority stress in African American college students.

Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity (JCSCORE), 4(1), 67-95. DOI: 10.15763/issn.2642-2387.2018.4.1.66-95

Jackson, S., & Harris, S. (2007) African American female college and university presidents: Experiences and perceptions of barriers to the

presidency. Journal of Women in Education Leadership, 5(2), 119-137. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/jwel/7

Rothstein, R. (2018). The color of law. Liveright Publishing.

Hodges, T. (2022). A Seat at the Table: An Instrumental Case Study on the Personal and Professional Strategies of Resistance Black Women

Professionals Adapt While Employed at a Predominantly White Institution.[Doctoral dissertation, Baylor University]. ProQuest Dissertations


THE PEN | 20







A m i e M a c b e t h

A m i e M a c b e t h i s a n A s s i s t a n t P r i n c i p a l f o r t h e P o w a y U n i f i e d

S c h o o l D i s t r i c t i n C a l i f o r n i a . H e r r e s e a r c h i n t e r e s t s i n c l u d e

m e n t a l h e a l t h s u p p o r t f o r a t h l e t e s , m e n t a l h e a l t h s u p p o r t

p r o g r a m s , a n d e q u i t y a n d a c c e s s i n e d u c a t i o n . S h e i s c u r r e n t l y a

D o c t o r a l C a n d i d a t e a t B a y l o r U n i v e r s i t y .

There are many benefits to

being a student-athlete, some of

which provide a perceived

buffer against potential

depression or high-risk activities

(Chen et al., 2010; Griffith &

Johnson, 2002; Miller &

Hoffman, 2009; Rao et al.,

2015). The benefits of collegiate

athletic participation include

belonging to a community,

meaningful relationships, selfefficacy,

and individual

accomplishment (Anchuri et al.,


However, these perceived

benefits do not negate the

inherent risks that accompany

the demands of being a college

athlete. The path to mental wellbeing

for collegiate studentathletes

is complex and

requires more than just

recommendations and

guidelines. Standardized mental

health support for all studentathletes

is essential in

preventing further injury and


Because of years of athletic

endeavors, student-athletes

benefit from improved health,

character building, self-esteem,

and self-empowerment as part of

their athletic identity (Anchuri et

al., 2020; Chen et al., 2010;

Putukian, 2016). However, even

with the specialized schedules,

training, and notoriety that goes

with their on-campus status,

suicide continues to impact the

student-athlete community. From

2003 through 2012, suicide

caused 7.3% of student-athlete

deaths (Fogaca, 2021).

Beyond suicide, some studentathletes

participate in high-risk

behaviors such as alcohol abuse,

eating disorders, relationship

violence, and overtraining

(Anchuri et al., 2020; Armstrong et

al., 2015; Etzel, 2006). While

college students have stressors,

student-athlete stress is

compounded by academic

expectations, practice schedules,

training requirements, team

THE PEN | 21

meetings, travel, and social obligations

(Armstrong et al., 2015; Gulliver et al.,

2012; Vidic et al., 2017).

In 2011, 20 to 28% of college athletes

reported feeling depressed, and 31 to 48%

reported feeling overwhelming anxiety

(Davoren & Hwang, 2014). More recently,

Sutcliffe and Greenberger (2020) found that

21% of Division I athletes report feeling

depressed, and 28.8% report feeling

anxious. The NCAA Sport Science

Institute’s (2020) new focus on studentathletes

and suicide prevention is a step in

the right direction. However, the guidelines

do not go far enough to protect collegiate

student-athletes from participating in highrisk

behaviors or to prevent of suicide.

Seeking mental health support is difficult for

many. Student-athletes often do not seek

mental health professionals and instead opt

to speak to someone within the athletic

department (Maniar et al., 2001; Watson,

2005). The stigma around seeking mental

health support is perpetrated by social

history, high profits in athletics, individual

pressures, family expectations, media

attention, and the specific team’s belief

about the mental health (Bauman, 2016;

Fogaca, 2021; Gulliver et al., 2012; Kaier et

al., 2015; Maniar et al., 2001; Watson,


Some athletes will see a sports

psychologist, however, the therapy is often

centered on the student-athlete’s

performance and less on mental health and

coping methods (Van Raalte et al., 1992).

Athletic trainers are in almost-daily contact

with students. A task force convened by the

National Athletic Trainers’ Association

(2013) concluded that “the probability of

encountering one or more student-athletes

with psychological concerns within an

athletic department is a certainty.” As such,

college athletic trainers have been at the

forefront of asking for more specialized

support for the athletes they interact with.

The current practice of an annual

Preparticipation Evaluation (PPE) is the

sole medical evaluation for a large majority

of student athletes. It is often used only to

detect emergency or life-threatening

physical symptoms that should prevent an

athlete from participating (Kroshus, 2016).

The National Athletic Trainer’s

Association has asked for NCAA and

the colleges and universities to require

a more inclusive PPE, noting that a

more inclusive PPE could identify more

physical and mental issues than current

practices. Because the PPE is not

standardized by NCAA, inevitably, there

are physical and mental concerns that

are missed (NATA, 2013) as schools

are given leeway to choose what to

include in their PPE process and how

often to evaluate after the studentathlete’s

first year.

After a 2016 task force met to look

specifically at mental health and

collegiate student-athletes, the NCAA

(2020) recommended that schools hire

mental health providers, develop written

mental health plans, use mental health

screening tools, and provide mental

health education for all athletic

department members. The NCAA has

not standardized the use of mental

health screenings to improve the PPE

process (Kroshus, 2016).

It seems there is a disconnect between

what the NCAA requires and what

professionals in the field and

researchers have found to be

reasonable and practical. NATA (2013)

suggested that mental wellness

baselines and mental health histories

be taken yearly, like concussion

baselines, and follow these check-ups

with immediate, as-needed support

services, much like the attention given

to injuries. NATA also created a list of

PPE recommendations, including many

body-centered tests for general health,

medication use, nutritional assessment,

and mental health assessment (Conley

et al., 2014; NATA, 2013). Athletic

trainers and team physicians interact

with student-athletes every day and

are in the position to monitor behaviors

for patterns or changes; further,

because of this relationship, studentathletes

are more likely to trust the

athletic trainer for recommendations,

help, and crises intervention (Neal et

al., 2013).

Four clear steps must happen on every

college and university campus that

houses athletics to combat the rising

mental health crisis among collegiate

student-athletes. First, mental health

support should be integrated into the

athletics department to ease the

stigma and to provide ready and easy

access. These supports need to

include student-athlete training around

mental health warning signs, coping,

and stress management. Supported

by multiple studies, the multi-modal

model of a combination of sport

psychologist and athletic trainer

interventions is the ideal delivery

method (Fogaca, 2021; Glazer, 2008;

Neal et al., 2013; Parcover et al., 2009;

Putukian, 2016). Fogaca (2021)

witnessed success with programs that

integrate stress reduction and coping

mechanism learning with other

training; presented as a holistic way to

help student-athletes, more athletes

were willing and able to participate.

Second, all athletic department

members should have training on

warning signs and mental health

THE PEN | 22

procedures specific to their school

(Armstrong et al., 2015; Glick & Horsfall,

2009; Neal et al., 2013).

Third, the PPE process should include a

substantial mental health portion to screen

for underlying issues that may evolve over

the year (Conley et al., 2014; Joy, 2004;

Kroshus, 2016; NATA, 2013).

Finally, the NCAA must require schools to

provide screenings and support for mental

health services Kroshus, 2016; NCAA Sport

Science Institute, 2020). Standardized

mental health support for all studentathletes

is essential in preventing further

injury and death.


Anchuri, K., Davoren, A. K., Shanahan, A., Torres, M., & Wilcox, H. C. (2020). Nonsuicidal self-injury, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempt among collegiate athletes: Findings from the National College Health Assessment. Journal of American

College Health, 68(8), 815–823. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2019.1616743

Armstrong, S. N., Burcin, M. M., Bjerke, W. S., & Early, J. (2015). Depression in student athletes: A particularly at-risk group? A systematic review of the literature. Athletic Insight, 7(2), 177–193.

Bauman, N. J. (2016). The stigma of mental health in athletes: Are mental toughness and mental health seen as contradictory in elite sport? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(3), 135–136. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095570

Chen, S., Snyder, S., & Magner, M. (2010). The effects of sports participation on student-athletes’ and non-athlete students’ social life and identity. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 3, 176–193.

Conley, K. M., Bolin, D. J., Carek, P. J., Konin, J. G., Neal, T. L., & Violette, D. (2014). National athletic trainers’ association position statement: Preparticipation physical examinations and disqualifying conditions. Journal of Athletic Training, 49(1),

102–120. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-48.6.05

Davoren, A. K., & Hwang, S. (2014). Depression and anxiety prevalence in student-athletes. In G. Brown, B. Hainline, E. Kroshus, & M. Wilfert (Eds.), Mind, body and sport: Understanding and supporting student-athlete mental wellness (pp. 38–

39). National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Etzel, E. F. (2006). Understanding and promoting college student-athlete health: Essential issues for student affairs professionals. NASPA Journal, 43(3), 518–546. https://doi.org/10.2202/1949-6605.1682

Fogaca, J. L. (2021). Combining mental health and performance interventions: Coping and social support for student-athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 33(1), 4–19.

Glazer, J. L. (2008). Eating disorders among male athletes. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 7(6), 332–337. https://doi.org/10.1249/JSR.0b013e31818f03c5

Glick, I. D., & Horsfall, J. L. (2009). Psychiatric conditions in sports: Diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 37(3), 29–34. https://doi.org/10.3810/psm.2009.10.1726

Griffith, K. A., & Johnson, K. A. (2002). Athletic identity and life roles of Division I and Division III collegiate athletes. Journal of Undergraduate Research, 5(1), 225–231.

Gulliver, A., Griffiths, K. M., & Christensen, H. (2012). Barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking for young elite athletes: A qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry, 12(1), 157. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-12-157

Joy, E. A. M., FACSM, Paisley, T. S. M., Price, R. Jr. M., Rassner, L. M., & Thiese, S. M. M. (2004). Optimizing the collegiate preparticipation physical evaluation. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 14(3), 183–187.

Kaier, E., Cromer, L. D., Johnson, M. D., Strunk, K., & Davis, J. L. (2015). Perceptions of mental illness stigma: Comparisons of athletes to nonathlete peers. Journal of College Student Development, 56(7), 735–739.


Kroshus, E. (2016). Variability in institutional screening practices related to collegiate student-athlete mental health. Journal of Athletic Training, 51(5), 389–397. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-51.5.07

Maniar, S. D., Curry, L. A., Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Walsh, J. A. (2001). Student-athlete preferences in seeking help when confronted with sport performance problems. Sport Psychologist, 15(2), 205.

Miller, K. E., & Hoffman, J. H. (2009). Mental well-being and sport-related identities in college students. Sociology of Sport Journal, 26(2), 335–356. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908331/

NATA. (2013, September 25). NATA releases consensus statement for developing a plan to recognize and refer student athletes with psychological concerns at the collegiate level. NATA.Org. https://www.nata.org/press-release/092513/natareleases-consensus-statement-developing-plan-recognize-and-refer-student

NCAA Sport Science Institute. (2020). Mental health best practices: Understanding and supporting student-athlete mental awareness. NCAA. https://ncaaorg.s3.amazonaws.com/ssi/mental/SSI_MentalHealthBestPractices.pdf

Neal, T. L., Diamond, A. B., Goldman, S., Klossner, D., Morse, E. D., Pajak, D. E., Putukian, M., Quandt, E. F., Sullivan, J. P., Wallack, C., & Welzant, V. (2013). Inter-association recommendations for developing a plan to recognize and refer

student-athletes with psychological concerns at the collegiate level: An executive summary of a consensus statement. Journal of Athletic Training, 48(5), 716–720. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-48.4.13

Parcover, J. A., Mettrick, J., Parcover, C. A. D., & Griffin-Smith, P. (2009). University and college counselors as athletic team consultants: Using a structural family therapy model. Journal of College Counseling, 12(2), 149–161.


Putukian, M. (2016). The psychological response to injury in student athletes: A narrative review with a focus on mental health. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(3), 145–148. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095586

Rao, A. L., Asif, I. M., Drezner, J. A., Toresdahl, B. G., & Harmon, K. G. (2015). Suicide in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes: A 9-year analysis of the NCAA resolutions database. Sports Health, 7(5), 452–457.


Sutcliffe, J. H., & Greenberger, P. A. (2020). Identifying psychological difficulties in college athletes. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. In Practice, 8(7), 2216–2219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2020.03.006

Van Raalte, J. L., Brewer, B. W., Brewer, D. D., & Linder, D. E. (1992). NCAA Division II college football players’ perceptions of an athlete who consults a sport psychologist. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 14(3), 273–282.

Vidic, Z., Martin, M. St., & Oxhandler, R. (2017). Mindfulness intervention with a U.S. women’s NCAA Division I basketball team: Impact on stress, athletic coping skills and perceptions of intervention. Sport Psychologist, 31(2), 147–159.

Watson, J. C. (2005). College student-athletes’ attitudes toward help-seeking behavior and expectations of counseling services. Journal of College Student Development, 46(4), 442–449. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2005.0044

THE PEN | 23






Tamara H. Shetron, Ph.D.

Dr. Tamara (Tami) Shetron earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Literacy. She has a passion for supporting lifelong learning opportunities for

marginalized people and for using active, engaging, and embodied teaching pedagogies such as the use of Tableau Theatre in literacy

development courses.

This article provides a brief introduction to a new educational

movement that is providing students with intellectual and

developmental disabilities (ID or IDD) access to higher education

on college campuses. Historically, these programs developed

independently and in local contexts, however, in 2008, the Higher

Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) introduced Students with

Intellectual Disability (ID or IDD) as a new college student

population, and policies, procedures, and enthusiasm for this

student population is rapidly increasing. With the passage of the

HEOA, funding became available to support the establishment of

pilot programs on campuses, research initiatives, and the

eventual development of program standards. Programs that

meet the required standards achieve the designation of

“Comprehensive Transition Program” (CTP).

Students with ID who are enrolled in CTPs become eligible to

receive Federal Financial Aid, including Pell Grants, Work Study, and

other federal funding, which opens this opportunity up to many

more students and not just those from wealthy families. Programs

are organized in a variety of ways (e.g.., fully inclusive, semiinclusive,

separate, 2-year, 4-year) and because of combined

support for their development at the local level and through policy,

programs are proliferating across the United States.

Currently, 311 IPSE programs exist serving over 3,500 students each

year (Think College, 2022). The outcomes of college attendance for

students in these programs include career preparation, academic

advancement, and the development of social and living skills.

THE PEN | 24

Students frequently take regular college courses for

credit or audit, although some programs have

developed separate courses just for students in the

program. One of the main goals of these programs is

developing student’s vocational readiness and most

contain an internship component, a requirement for

achieving CTP status.

Students receive a “certificate of completion” rather

than an official college degree upon completion and

many programs allow their students to attend

graduation with everybody else.

Most research to date on these programs is

descriptive and anecdotal; however, several studies

have shown that students who have paidemployment

experiences during their college years

achieve paid employment beyond college at a

higher rate than those who do not have these

experiences during the college years. Grigal et. al.,

(2018) found that students were 15 times more likely

to have paid employment after college than those

who didn’t, and Sannicandro (2019) found that

students with IDD who attended an IPSE program

were twice as likely to be employed than students

who did not.

Inclusion is another area that has been shown to

positively impacts student’s growth and

development, particularly in developing selfdetermination

skills (Blackburn, et. al., 2019; Grigal et.

al., 2013; Shogren, et. al., 2017). Inclusion is also part of

gaining CTP status and can be achieved by allowing

students to matriculate with a code that provides

them access to all student services and

extracurricular activities.

Most programs emphasize the development of selfadvocacy,

academic and career exploration, work

and internship opportunities. Students can take

academic course work for credit, audit, or pass/fail

and have assistance learning about their own

interests, something often overlooked in earlier

educational experiences.

Students are eligible for the same accommodations

provided any other student with a documented

disability and course expectations can be modified if

taken for pass/fail/audit. This means that a student

might be expected to meet just half or two-thirds of a

course’s objectives to receive a “pass” or get credit

for auditing.

Faculty can also make adjustments that do not

impact course content but may allow students

multiple modes of expression to demonstrate

that they have learned course content. For

instance, a student may be permitted to present

an oral presentation using a power point rather

than a written research paper to demonstrate

knowledge, or graphically represent knowledge.

Additionally, there are a great many assistive

technologies they can use that neurotypical

students might benefit from such as speech to

text software, now built into most devices.

THE PEN | 25

Programs can utilize paid supports (other

students or support staff from community

or state ID organizations) but many are

learning to rely on the development of

natural supports. Students make friends

with others in the class and ask for

assistance when needed, such as sharing

notes, joining study groups, navigating

directions to class.

In general, students with ID require more

supports than neurotypical students at

the beginning of their college experience.

As the student gains confidence in their

abilities and familiarity with the campus

and campus life, these supports are

gradually lessened.

Access to lifelong education for all people

is a basic human right. According to The

United Nations Convention on the Rights

of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) (U. N.

General Assembly, 2006) people with

disabilities are recognized under

international law as “rights holders with a

claim to the right to education without

discrimination and on the basis of equal

opportunity” (Convention on the Rights of

Persons with Disabilities Optional Protocol,

2016, p. 1).

Almost every state has at least one IPSE program,

and many states are developing legislation to

support these programs and provide technical


One example of this is Massachusetts' H4695; “An

Act Creating Higher Education Opportunities for

Students with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, and

Other Developmental Disabilities, which would

require all public higher education institutions in

Massachusetts to create guidelines for developing

inclusive courses.

Many other states have policies that support this

inclusive movement in one way or another, and you

can see what your state is doing by accessing the

“What’s Happening in Your State” page under the

resource tab at the Think College website.

Although the U. S. has not yet ratified the

CRPD, the U. S. has slowly moved toward

the integration of people with ID into the

fabric of society.

THE PEN | 26


Grigal, M., Papay, C., Smith, F., Hart., D., & Verbeck, R. (2018). Experiences that

predict employment for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities

in federally funded higher education programs. Career Development and

Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 42, 17-28.

Grigal, M., Weir, C., Hart, D., & Opsal, C. (2013, June). The impact of college on selfdetermination.

Research to practice in self-determination. Issue 6: Selfdetermination

and postsecondary education. The National Gateway on

SelfDetermination. UMKC Institute for Human Development, Kansas City, MO.

Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (2008). Pub. L. No. 110–315 § 122 STAT.


Sannicandro, T. (2019). The effect of postsecondary education on employment,

income, and SSI for people with intellectual disabilities. Think College Fast Facts,

issue no. 24. Boston, MA: University of Massachusetts Boston, Institute for

Community Inclusion.

Shogren, K. A., Wehmeyer, M. L., Shaw, L. A., Grigal, M., Hart, D., Smith, F. A., & Khamsi,

S. (2018). Predictors of self-determination in postsecondary education for

students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Education and Training

in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. 53(2), 146–159.

Think College (2022). Think College. https://thinkcollege.net/college-search

THE PEN | 27






lease share your

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n their article "Incentivizing Equity? The Effects of Performance-Based Funding on

Race-Based Gaps in College Completion," Monnica Chan, Zachary Mabel, and Preeya

Mbekeani examine the impact of performance-based funding models with equity

premiums for state public higher education institutions in Tennessee and Ohio.

Using a Synthetic Control Method research design, they examine the heterogenous

impact of these funding regimes on completion outcomes for racially minoritized

students and students from historically overrepresented racial groups.

Across both states, they find null or negative effects on credentials conferred to

racially minoritized students and null or positive effects on credentials conferred to

students from historically overrepresented racial groups. As a result, performancebased

funding policies widened the racial gap in certificate completion in

Tennessee and in baccalaureate degree completion in Ohio. Read the full article:


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Preeya Mbekeani, Ed.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Annenburg Institute for School Improvement at

Brown University


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