Faculty and staff across the California State University are working together to narrow the academic equity gap with help from an innovative professional development program.
It’s the little things that count. As simple as it sounds, sometimes just connecting with a student or showing concern can have an impact on their performance in class. For historically underserved and first-generation college students, these connections really count.
That’s what CSU Dominguez Hills sociology professor Katy Pinto, Ph.D., along with a team from her campus, discovered when they analyzed data for courses in which underrepresented students were performing better than their peers to uncover strategies that could be replicated. This asset-based approach was part of a 2019 research project for the CSU Certificate Program in Student Success Analytics, a unique university-wide professional development program that places a special focus on finding strategies to close academic equity gaps between students from historically underserved communities and their peers.
“If you’re a first-generation historically underserved student, there are a lot more narratives that tell you that you may be at risk or in danger of not graduating,” says Dr. Pinto, who received a Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award (FILA) in 2019. “And these students often think, ‘Do I really belong here?'”
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