Journal of Applied Research in Community Colleges. Peer-Reviewed Since 1993

FALL 2019 - VOLUME 26, ISSUE 2

Applying Guiding Principles to Resist Erasure of Immigrant Community College Students in an Ever-Changing Climate Through a Critical Theory of Love

Matthew A. Witenstein, University of Dayton

Marianne Niese, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

This practice brief addresses the critical need for supporting immigrant students on community college campuses. While nearly one-quarter of college students are first- and second-generation Americans, there is a major gap in both research literature and in practice on this topic. The purpose of this practice brief is to provide fluid guiding principles for administrators, faculty, and student affairs educators to best support immigrant students. The guiding principles outlined are: (a) defining/refining spaces and services; (b) institutional agents’ roles; and (c) professional development. These guiding principles from the brief are rooted in a critical theory of love, which promotes rehumanizing factors, dignity, and justice because immigrant students often encounter challenges in these areas. Links to participatory practices are also made to undergird the principles. Finally, we offer steps moving forward in order to facilitate institutional- and individual-level agency utilizing the guiding principles.

Keywords: immigrant students, guiding principles, critical theory of love, community colleges

Witenstien M. A., & Niese, M. (2019). Applying guiding principles to resist erasure of immigrant community college students in an ever-changing climate through a critical theory of love. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 1-10.

Promoting STEM Identity Development in Community Colleges & Across the Transfer Process

Sarah L. Rodriguez, Texas A&M University

Kari A. Hensen, Des Moines Area Community College

Maria Espino, Iowa State University

This practice brief demonstrates the importance of developing STEM identity in community college and university settings and addresses how community college leaders and practitioners can support STEM identity development policies, both at community colleges and across the transfer process. We review previous empirical evidence and conceptual perspectives related to STEM identity development, community college engagement, and transfer processes in order to establish a foundation of knowledge on the topic. The brief draws on these perspectives to provide recommendations for policy and practice across three major areas that make up STEM identity development, including building and sustaining interest in STEM fields, encouraging performance, and supporting recognition of STEM-engaged individuals.

Keywords: community college, STEM, identity, transfer

Rodriguez, S. L., Hensen, K. A., & Espino, M. (2019). Promoting STEM identity development in community colleges & across the transfer process. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 11-22.

Research- and Praxis-Based Strategies: An Asset-Based Approach for Senior- and Middle-Level Administrators Addressing Latino Male Students’ Education Gap

Jorge Burmicky, University of Texas at Austin

Leticia Palomín, Texas A&M University, College Station

Victor B. Sáenz, University of Texas at Austin

Nydia Sánchez, University of San Diego

Wonsun Ryu, University of Texas at Austin

Community colleges serve as a primary gateway into postsecondary education for Latino students. Yet, educational outcomes for Latino male students continue to lag behind their female counterparts. While this educational gender disparity has been well documented by researchers and scholars over the last decade, senior- and middle-level community college administrators are tasked with addressing these attainment gaps. Grounded in a scholar-practitioner approach, this practice brief shares strategies tailored to community college senior- and middle-level administrators. These strategies are informed by the work of the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color and an analysis of statewide longitudinal data collected by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). This brief applies asset-based frameworks and epistemologies to advance the educational outcomes of Latino male students at the local, state, and national levels.

Keywords: Latino male students, community college, higher education administration

Burmicky, J., Palomín, L., Sáenz, V. B., Sánchez, N., & Ryu, W. (2019). Research- and praxis-based strategies: An asset-based approach for senior- and middle-level administrators addressing Latino male students’ education gap. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 23-32.

Strategies for Socializing Undocumented Students into Campus Life

Dustin French, Moraine Valley Community College Sirena Covington, VanderCook College of Music Undocumented students are an emerging special group at community colleges, but their unauthorized status prevents them from successfully utilizing campus resources, such as financial aid, advising, student services, and counseling. They are afraid to utilize these resources because they might expose their immigration status. The fear of protecting one’s status has forced undocumented students to be in the shadows as they pursue their college degree. To support undocumented students achieving their academic goals, college faculty and staff must reshape professional practice to better serve the undocumented student population.

Keywords: community college, undocumented students, college administration

French, D., & Covington, S. (2019). Strategies for socializing undocumented students into campus life. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 33-40.

Finding Where I Belong: How Community Colleges Can Transform Their Institutional Environments to Facilitate Students’ Sense of Belonging on Campus

Vincent D. Carales, University of Houston

Darrell L. Hooker, Jr., University of Houston

Students who develop a sense of belonging on campus, particularly students of color, are more likely to persist in college. This is particularly salient for community colleges as they are likely to enroll a large share of students from diverse backgrounds. The purpose of this practice brief is to highlight how students’ connections to campus, or sense of belonging, leads to positive outcomes. We discuss how scholars have defined sense of belonging, offer our own interpretation of this important construct, and provide a brief overview of the research examining the link between sense of belonging, student outcomes, and campus environments. Finally, we highlight practical strategies for community college practitioners to consider in facilitating students’ sense of belonging on campus.

Keywords: sense of belonging, student success, campus climate

Carales, V. D., & Hooker, D. L., Jr. (2019). Finding where i belong: How community colleges can transform their institutional environments to facilitate students’ sense of belonging on campus. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 41-50.

The Latinx Community College-to-For-Profit Pipeline: Interventions to Disrupt Structured Inequities

Joe Vasquez, University of San Francisco

Desiree Zerquera, University of San Francisco

Proprietary institutions are often the transfer-receiving institutions of Latinx students who start at community colleges—with little research examining the structuring of these choices for this particular population of students. With Latinxs’ increasing enrollments in for-profit institutions and the negative implications of these enrollments, more attention must be given to the role of educational inequities in fostering, if not structuring, these enrollments. This practice brief brings attention to the community college-to-for-profit pipeline for Latinx students to provide an understanding of how structured inequities within Latinxs’ community college experiences shape subsequent enrollment in for-profit institutions. This brief focuses how administrators and practitioners can work to disrupt this pipeline within community colleges and enhance justice for Latinx communities through structural and practice-based changes across the institution.

Keywords: proprietary institutions; Latinx students, educational inequity

Vasquez, J., & Zerquera, D. (2019). The Latinx community college-to-for-profit pipeline: Interventions to disrupt structured inequities. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 51-62.

(Re)Contextualizing Guided Pathways to Provide Equitable Supports for Community College Students

Shelagh Rose, Pasadena City College, Los Angeles

Rebecca Colina Neri, Indiana University, Bloomington

Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, University of California, Los Angeles

To remedy currently low rates of completion, community colleges around the country have begun to implement the Guided Pathways (GP) model, a student-centered approach to reforming community colleges that requires colleges to provide students with a clear pathway to program completion, career advancement, and further education (Jenkins, Lahr, & Fink, 2017). While building coherence for students is essential in community colleges across the country, important questions of equity cannot be ignored: completion to what, for whom, and for what end? Practitioners must ground their GP implementation efforts in students’ funds of knowledge (FK), or the assets students bring to their campuses and the local resources that exist within their communities. In this brief, we recommend community colleges to: (a) create career communities that integrate students’ labor histories and funds of knowledge, (b) provide differentiated work-based learning opportunities; (c) inform practice using regional and equity-focused labor market data.

Keywords: funds of knowledge, labor market,

Guided Pathways Rose, S., Neri, R. C., & Rios-Aguilar, C. (2019). (Re)contextualizing guided pathways to provide equitable supports for community college students. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 63-74.

(Incentivized) Summer Enrollment: Effects and Implementation in Community Colleges

Ray Franke, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Brian Bricknell, Manchester Community College

The national college-age population is projected to shrink noticeably. This has severe implications for enrollments and, subsequently, tuition revenues, particularly for the community college sector. Additionally, many two-year institutions continue to struggle with increasing student persistence and degree attainment rates. This practice brief seeks to show how summer sessions can be used more strategically to increase student participation in classes with subsequent positive effects on both retention rates and enrollments. Recently employed incentive structures and how these can be designed to further improve demand for summer courses and raise reenrollment rates in the following semester are covered. Thus, the purpose of this brief is threefold. First, to present empirical evidence on the effects of summer enrollment for continuing students and their success. Second, two recently implemented summer programs that include financial incentives are introduced. Lastly, recommendations for implementation geared towards community college leaders and administrators are presented.

Keywords: summer enrollment, incentives, persistence

Franke, R., & Bricknell, B. (2019). (Incentivized) summer enrollment: Effects and implementation in community colleges. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 75-84.

Learning Analytics in Community Colleges: Guidance for Leaders

Carrie Klein, George Mason University

Jaime Lester, George Mason University

Learning analytics (LA) use in community colleges has increased in the last decade as a result of technological advancements and external pressures. The ability to harvest, store, and analyze LA creates an environment in which LA-informed tools are being purchased and deployed in community colleges to meet external and internal accountability efforts focused on student retention and completion goals. The value of LA lies in their ability to inform holistic organizational and individual decision making via real-time, visualized data to inform student interventions. Successful implementation of LA is reliant on organizational readiness, collaborative leadership practices, and attention to ethical concerns. The purpose of this practice brief is to provide a guide for leaders considering implementing or already using LA. Through a review of the literature, we provide examples and evidence of LA use in community colleges, including promising practices, necessary considerations for ethical and equitable use, and recommended actions for leaders.

Keywords: learning analytics, learner analytics, big data, data ethics, data-informed practice

Klein, C., & Lester, J., (2019). Learning analytics in community colleges: Guidance for leaders. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 85-96.

Addressing the Challenges of Service-Learning in Broad Access Institutions of Higher Education

C. Cecilia Tocaimaza-Hatch, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Post-secondary institutions in the U.S. have embraced experiential education as a method of teaching and learning, particularly in the form of service-learning (SL). SL is a teaching approach where students meet academic objectives through meaningful community service. While prior literature on SL touts the benefits that students reap from it, there is limited understanding of the realities of implementing SL in broad-access institutions (BAIs), such as community colleges. Therefore, the purpose of this brief is to examine some of the challenges innate to SL in BAIs and explore potential solutions. The brief is divided into three sections: (a) defining SL as a pedagogical tool and considering practical applications for the BAI classroom, (b) describing specific obstacles that faculty face in implementing SL and suggestions on how to ameliorate them, and (c) exploring administrative changes and interventions applicable at the department/unit level that can foster SL.

Keywords: service-learning, broad-access institutions, minority students, low-income students

Tocaimaza-Hatch, C. C. (2019). Addressing the challenges of service-learning in broad access institutions of higher education. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 97-108.

Blindspotting: Resisting Academic Norms by Using Hip-Hop Sensibilities to Develop Educator Praxis for the People

Adam Freas, Sacramento City College

Jesus Limon Guzman, Sacramento City College

This practice brief explores the experiences of two community college faculty who enacted their hip-hop sensibilities to access culturally responsive practices within hip-hop based education, as a way to engage and prepare marginalized communities for higher education. Recommendations include ways faculty and staff can develop counter approaches to long-standing campus standards, which minoritize students and marginalize epistemologies constructed in disenfranchised groups. This brief prompts faculty and staff to operate with curiosity to tap into policy shifts to facilitate collective responses, while instilling practices of critical self-reflection and collaborative program development. The article travels through three areas of focus, which are framed using hip-hop-based components including (a) the cypher, promoting a critical sharing collective; (b) the concept of the drum, reaching collective consciousness; and (c) call and response, using various forms of dialogue to shape intentional actions that are rooted in racial and social justice.

Keywords: hip-hop based education, culturally responsive, critical self-reflection

Freas, A., & Guzman, J. L. (2019). Blindspotting: Resisting academic norms by using hip-hop sensibilities to develop educator praxis for the people. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 109-116.

Integrating AACC’s Competences for Community College Leaders Into Community College Leadership Graduate Programs

Douglas A. Smith, Iowa State University

Emily C. Fox, South Carolina Technical College System

Clifford P. Harbour, University of North Texas

Community college leadership graduate programs are a primary source of professional development for many emerging community college leaders, from faculty leaders and student service leaders to CEOs. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), in consultation with community college experts, created AACC’s first-ever Competencies for Community College Leaders (Competencies) in 2005 and subsequently revised and added to it in 2013 and 2018. The Competencies for Community College Leaders serves as a core set of aspirational skills and knowledge for current and future community college leaders. What remains a challenge for university faculty in community college leadership programs is how to integrate AACC’s Competencies into graduate curriculum. The purpose of this paper is to provide doctoral program faculty with recommendations to begin meeting this challenge.

Keywords: leadership preparation, competencies, graduate programs

Smith, D. A., Fox, E. C., & Harbour, C. P. (2019). Integrating AACC’s Competences for Community College Leaders into community college. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(2), 117-125.