As a student from a working-class background, I did not have access to the type of cultural capital needed to gain upward social mobility. For example, I come from a family that has had no formal education beyond high school and so I was without the knowledge of how to gain access into the realm of higher education. My family had never gone through the application process and so they did not know how to access and utilize the college help that my school provided. Also, my high school only had fourteen counselors available to provide assistance to the 4,263 students that attended the school (Illinois Report Card 2010). This counselor-to-student ration meant that not much time could be devoted to each student to give them the help they needed to navigate the complex college application system (Civil Rights Data 2009, Illinois Report Card 2010). During my time in high school, I never actually spoke to any of the counselors about college plans and I was not even aware that they could help in that area. In the following sections I detail how the cultural capital borrowed or learned from scholarship programs and cultural mentors ultimately impact a student’s upward mobility most.
Exclusive scholarship programs can act as a tool that helps move a working-class student beyond the achievement levels of their parents. These programs do so by exposing students to privileged knowledge, skills, and strategies that they would not access to otherwise. Lareau and Horvat define these types
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Recently there has been a lot of debate about the importance of college education. Students are asking if it’s worth the debt to attend a four year university or community college. Some are thinking what are the benefits of a degree is in the workforce. With college tuition increasing and state fundings lowering, low income students are struggling to attain a higher education. College institutions should have a role to provide students higher education and equal opportunity to students to increase social mobility yet intergenerational reproduction of privilege has produced inequality in education.
Growing up as a first-generation college-bound Hispanic woman has proven to be a difficult journey. Both of my parents left their home countries at a young age and came to this country without any ideas or real opportunities on where to begin. At a young age, I have been taught that having a higher education is the key to having a successful and plentiful life. However, the journey towards achieving my dream of receiving a higher education has been filled with moments where I have challenged the stereotypes about getting pregnant and dropping out of high school, facing my grandma’s unexpected illness that affected me both academically and mentally, and the challenge of being a first generation college bound student in my family.
In a 2004 journal by Susan Auerbach, the concept of parental influence and support for Latina/o students is addressed. Auerbach shares that, “Research suggests the pivotal role of parents in promoting students’ college going” (Auerbach, p.127). It is no mystery that parents have great influence over their children, and when a parent is uneducated on how to best advise their child regarding higher education, they are unable to use this influence to encourage attendance. Auerbach states, “Families without a tradition of college going do not have sufficient knowledge to help their children navigate pathways to college” (Auerbach, p.140). According to the Latino Eligibility Study, the single most important barrier to college access for Latino students in California is lack of active knowledge of the steps needed to go to college (Gandara, 1998,2002). Parents of first generation students need tools that can aid in the child’s success and serve as a means of knowledge on what can be a challenging and confusing process. Another issue tied to parent involvement and understanding is that, “Poor and working class Latino families come to college preparation relatively late in students’ careers, with fewer resources and more obstacles” (Auerbach, p.136). The journal supports the idea that Latino/a parents are in need of early access to college preparation education in order to be able to challenge and support their
Research suggests that students of color and economically disadvantaged students are likely to have low academic achievement, in comparison to their White middle class counterparts. Studies show that these disparities are a result of environmental, historical, sociopolitical, sociocultural, and institutional factors, and not necessarily students’ capabilities (Bemak & Chung, 2008). These environmental, sociocultural and sociopolitical factors can result to depression, low self-esteem, and a lack of educational and career opportunities. Thus, counseling professionals in the school settings need to develop advocacy plans to cater for these environmental factors that are barriers to academic, career and personal development (Ratts & Hutchins,
In “Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education”, bell hooks writes about her experience with her family as she, a young educated black woman, first of her family, goes off to Stanford University. While her parents’ attitude towards her leaving her home to further her education was not the best, hooks used this struggle to make an educated point that while pursuing a higher education, it is important for young adults to maintain family and community values. While reading this essay, I not only agreed but also connected personally with hooks’ point about never forgetting where you come from due to my family’s immigrant background.
In the United States alone, minorities have struggled for centuries to earn the basic rights and opportunities as others. African Americans have always worked harder and been treated maliciously just because of the color of their skin. There have been numerous movements, peaceful protests, and brutal battles by black leaders against whites for equality, justice, and a fair chance at a better life. It is safe to say that in the past, blacks were not allowed to progress or have a mind of their own. In comparison to the past, the educational sector for minorities still remains as an extreme societal challenge. For many years, African Americans have been denied educational advancement opportunities. The higher education area suffers greatly for the black population but very few people will address why this matter occurs. Do black families’ socioeconomic status affect the children’s education? The socioeconomic status is easily defined as an individuals or families’ economic and social rank based on income, education level, and occupation. The socioeconomic status of black families does affect their children’s academic success, however; it does not determine their children’s success. This educational disadvantage for black students needs to be addressed because of the lack of financial and emotional support that minority students receive due to their parents lack of experience and knowledge with higher education. Many black students become a product of their environment because
From a young age, accomplishment is associated first with monetary gain and then with going to a good college. While my peers and I are currently fixated on the latter, Outliers has shown us there is no need to be. With Nobel prize winners coming from anywhere from MIT to Holy Cross and Stanford to Rollins (Gladwell, 81-82), success is not determined by the higher learning institution one chooses to go to, although it certainly does not hurt to attend a prestigious one. As I look to the application process I am deterred by many things that should send me towards success. Being a Caucasian, upper-middle class citizen, I am perhaps the most replaceable student in the world with thousands just like me, hoping for the same chance I look forward too. However, I feel it is what I have done in the summers that will set me apart. Karl Alexander realized that privileged students tend to ‘outlearn’ underprivileged children over the summer, something I am beginning to see more clearly. This past summer, I was fortunate enough to be part of the 6-percent accepted to the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes for Business and Entrepreneurship. It took only a few days to realize that I was the only true ‘white kid’. With the majority coming from Asian descent, the only other kid at the camp who may have been Caucasian came from a Panamanian family. As I noticed this, I realized
The African American males access to higher learning is detrimental to the United States economy. The social conditions that plague African American males in their quest for college degrees are very obvious. For more than 40 years, the African American male has been missing in action from higher learning institutions by a margin of 50:1. In this paper, I will explore the problems and the critical actions needed for correction.
Imagine a brilliant high school child named Michael who has a high GPA and is enrolled in the honors and AP curriculum; he precipitates in multitudes of extracurricular activities including sports and clubs. He gets accepted to many schools and received many scholarships. However, even with financial aid, he and his family are economically deprived and therefore incapable in funding a college education. This scenario is not an imagination but a common event in modern day America. Fifty percent of eighteen to twenty-five year old adults who did not attend a higher education institution experienced a similar situation (Why). These people belong in a university, an establishment whose nature is to judge base on the intelligence not on the
This creates a situation where both the student and parents are unfamiliar with the enrollment process and requirements. There is also a hesitancy to allow their child to go to college and become indebted with large student loans just to get an education. This reluctance clashes with the social and economic norm of the student being an actively contributing worker to the family’s income (Tornatzky 2006). Some Latino families may not see the economic value of getting an education for four years, when they believe that their son or daughter could have spent those four years in the workforce, or supporting the family with child-care. These family priorities and demands create friction and misunderstanding in the Latino community, where parents actually encourage their children to attend local community colleges, where the quality of education may not be very good, instead of going to an out-of-state public university. These financial conditions, family obligations, and demanding STEM-related courses may prolong the degree attainment process and raise the likelihood of Latinos withdrawing from
I am the first to go to graduate college in my family. As such, I faced many struggles in my undergraduate career in that I did not have family or peers to turn to for support and resources that would help me in college. Yet, that adversity taught me about perseverance—moving forward when all seemed lost—and my schooling at CSU East Bay taught me that my struggles form part of a larger history of struggle by the poor, disenfranchised, and marginalized, many of who are today, unfortunately, African Americans. These experiences, in turn, play a significant role in my decision to pursue a graduate education and they now form a critical component in my ability to find ways to overcome barriers to higher education.
The economy plays a major role in young black males attaining a genuine education. Many U.S. citizens struggle to pay for college each year. Government resources, such as student loans, help students fund their cost for an education. However, we pay back the student loans and interest rates after we are finished with school. Numerous African-American males attend college for a semester or two, but the percentage of them who graduates is significantly low. For the ones who don’t graduate, it was a complete waste of their time and money. The worst of this impoverishment is that there is no sense of impoverishment (Percy).
“Kids who are the first in their families to brave the world of higher education come on campus with little academic know-how and are much more likely than their peers to drop out before graduation” (1). Many people believe that school isn’t for everyone, and whoever goes is privileged for doing so. Countless people in the world today do not attend college, and this is mainly due to an influence of those in their family. Perhaps they are unsupportive of higher education, their parents and family members may view their entry into college as a break in the family system rather than a continuation of their schooling and higher learning. Most of the first-generation students decide to apply to colleges, because they aspire to jobs which require degrees. However, unlike some students whose parents have earned a degree, they often seek out college to bring honor to their families, and to ensure they make a decent amount of money for their future.
America has transitioned from the land of unconditional opportunity to the land of predetermined success. However, this can’t be a surprise with by “2000, the top 1 percent of households holding more wealth than the entire bottom 95 percent” (Draut 21). This fact is still true today, with the top 1% holding, “35.6% of all private wealth” ("Facts and Figures in 99 to 1). Now the impact this has is, with attending college being the route to wealth more than ever, prosperity in United States is becoming a game only the privileged can play. “Nearly three quarters of students at the nation’s top 146 colleges come from families in the top quarter of the socioeconomic status (SES) scale” (Draut 48), leaving millions of Americans from reaching their full potential. It goes beyond race, even though lineage and class have a huge correlation. The fact that if you don’t have money in the United States from birth, your opportunities are significantly limited. This is proved with only 3% of freshman from the bottom quarter income bracket going to the top colleges (Colleges, American Association Of Community). A large reason for this is the fact that government funding for students college education has largely decreased with student loans/debt being more prominent. Added to this is the fact that many minority communities are still living with the repercussions of America’s white prejudice past.
I knew there were many injustices in the world, but I didn’t know the extent of them and their effects on people. When I took a sociology class in my junior year, it made me aware of some of the issues that are a problem in the United States. After that experience, it inspired me to learn more about sociology instead of being ignorant about all the adversities people endure in our society. One of the problems that disturbed me was income and racial inequality because of the impact they have on me and my community. Living in a low-income community, students don’t have access to essential resources that prepare them for college, and many don’t realize college is an option because of the lack of support.