An On-Site Intelligence Studies Course Evaluation During a U.S. University's Criminal Justice Program Short-term Study Abroad in the U.K. Toni Gay This evaluation was the capstone project for my graduate-level College Teaching Certificate (CTC) Program at the School of Education at the College of William & Mary. This poster and presentation outlines my experience traveling to the U.K. to meet with a professor from a mid-western U.S. public university who for more than a decade has taken his Criminal Justice program students to study abroad at locations in Europe and the U.K. The presentation will specifically share information about my evaluation of the classroom portion of the program’s Intelligence Studies course. A great strength of the course was the vast practitioner knowledge of the instructor, and the instructor’s long-term teaching experience. Another strength was the instructor’s ongoing student mentoring and job experience knowledge he shared with them during the trip. However, the evaluation suggested most student learning outcomes were limited to foundational knowledge, and the higher-order thinking skills that was one of the instructor’s highest priorities for student learning outcomes was limited. Additionally, the syllabus did not align with Universal Design for Learning (UDL), included limited elements of Differentiated Instruction (DI), and despite numerous site visits built in to the overall experience, did not include active-learning components for course delivery or assessment of student learning. Implications for the future included enhancements to the syllabus and course delivery methods, and a redesign of the Intelligence Analysis and Futures Research topic areas of the syllabus. These recommendations were made to potentially provide a way for students to develop a deeper level of understanding, integration, and application of the course materials. It was felt a more significant learning experience would occur for the students if enhancements were made to the course to take better advantage of the place-based elements of the experience during the on-location classroom portion. Additionally, I designed a hypothetical classroom exercise where the students would go to a local garden on the grounds of a historic castle to view and learn about plants that can be made into illegal substances routinely abused in the U.K. and U.S. That proposed activity included students being accompanied by a local law enforcement official who could speak about behaviors of people abusing such substances. The proposed final project would compare U.S. and U.K. laws on illegal substance abuse, and treatment of abusers. The final project included a digital story as an alternate way to assess student learning from the activity. In addition to discussing the evaluation experience I will discuss the enhanced course materials, and in sharing my findings and recommended course changes I hope to inspire other higher education experiential teachers, especially those involved in study abroad. I also plan to suggest they find ways to take full advantage of the power of the place-based learning, and ensure they incorporate elements of active learning and student reflection on experience into their study abroad course materials and remember to always include UDL and DI in their lesson planning and course materials.
Identified Needs and Help-Seeking Behaviors of LGBTQ College Students Kristin Byrd & Clay Martin Since the 1969 Stonewall riot, American colleges and universities have been settings of both LGBTQ theoretical knowledge generation and the battle between powerful homophobic institutions and marginalized LGBTQ individuals, including students and faculty. Historically, LGBTQ students were shunned by institutions of higher education, often expelled upon discovery, referred to psychologists, and denied student groups (D’Emilio, 1990; Renn, 2010). According to Lance (2008), homosexual and heterosexual freedom to engage in consensual relations should be seen as a basic human right to be protected by law. College campuses in the United States are seeing more students coming out and organizing (Jones, Brewster, & Jones, 2014). According to Sanlo (2004), few campuses gather data on the number and needs of sexual minority students. LGBTQ students are becoming more visible, and higher education institutions will be judged by how they respond to LGBTQ inclusion. Students expect their institution to advocate for and protect their equal rights (Trammell, 2014). Postsecondary institutions have an obligation to address forms of marginalization to create welcoming and affirming campus climates for LGBT people now—not sometime in the future (Vaccaro, 2012). Research on the LGBTQ college population provides many suggestions for institutional inclusivity. According to Roper (2005), senior student affairs officers should create spaces for the emotional, psychological, structural, and social support for LGBTQ students. They have the power to “normalize” LGBTQ individuals on campus, requiring “formalized” knowledge of student experiences and needs (Ferguson, 2012). Climate studies are essential in understanding what specific aspects of campus life LGBTQ campus community members find most unwelcoming (Vaccaro, 2012). This study gathers experience narratives to inform institutions of the needs and attitudes of their LGBTQ students with regard to using campus mental health services. The questions here explore needs, perceptions, struggles, support, and the differences in help-seeking behavior between LGBTQ students with disabilities, and those without. Research posits that LGBTQ college students have special needs due to the damaging effects of homophobia. They are at increased risk for negative mental health, violence, harassment, and discrimination. Some students feel fear or face hostility in dorms, recreational facilities, and other campus settings. These and other damages of homophobic environments call for the development of specialized mental health interventions designed eliminate barriers that marginalize LGBTQ students and to maintain proper well-being (VanKirk et al., 2016. As far as the state of mental health services at many institutions, there exists a lack of resources, a lack of counseling professionals with adequate experience with the LGBTQ population, a fear that participating in services would compromise safety, and a lack of visibility of available mental health services (Lacy, 2015). Instead of using campus mental health services, many students are more often turned to friends and peers for assistance (Lytle et al., 2017). This study uses queer theory/methodology to structure interviews that explore how LGBTQ college students utilize campus mental health services. Informed by college student and queer theory, the interview questions focus on their experiences with campus climate, their needs, and attitudes towards using mental health services.
White Faculty Perceptions of Mentoring Students of Color Asia Randolph, Hannah Franz, and Hannah Mawyer Our poster will present an in-progress research study examining what motivates White faculty to mentor Students of Color at predominantly White institutions (PWIs), as well as what limitations those relationships may have had and how mentors responded to those limitations. As a work-in-progress, we will present our rationale, methodology, and early data analysis. Undergraduate Students of Color who attend PWIs face many challenges, including a lack of support (Dahlvig, 2010), less representation in higher ranks of the institution (Crutcher, 2007), and a decreased sense of belonging (Strayhorn, 2012). Effective faculty mentoring practices are key in mitigating such negative effects of attendance at PWIs and propel undergraduates towards matriculation into graduate school, thus strengthening the educational pipeline (Charity Hudley, Dickter, & Franz, 2017; Saddler, 2010; Smith, 2013). Faculty mentors who share the racial and ethnic identity of students of color serve as highly effective role-models and mentors (Barker, 2011). However, the scarcity of Faculty of Color in higher education makes finding appropriate mentors for students of color difficult due to faculty of color only representing 23% of all full-time faculty (McFarland et al., 2017). Due to the lack of critical mass, Faculty of Color are often overburdened by service requirements not expected of their White counterparts which include the expectation of heavily mentoring students of color and serving as a diverse perspective on committees, panels, and other university activities (Shavers, Butler, & Moore III, 2014). Therefore, White faculty must share responsibility for mentoring undergraduate Students of Color. Yet, research on the perspectives of White faculty in this role is especially scant and warrants further exploration (McCoy et al., 2015). Using a transcendental phenomenological approach as put forth by Moustaskas (1994), the researchers aim to understand the essence of best practices White faculty use to effectively mentor Students of Color. The purpose is to describe the common meaning participants express as part of serving as White faculty mentors to Students of Color and to generate a composite of their experiences (Creswell & Poth, 2018). We are in the process of conducting semi-structured interviews with approximately 8 White faculty members who mentor Students of Color at four-year liberal arts PWIs. Planned interview questions will center on how participants define mentoring, motivations to mentor Students of Color, limitations in mentoring relationship, and participants’ cultural and mentoring background. During the data analysis, each researcher will review the cross-checked transcriptions to create themes from significant statements. Moustaskas (1994) outlines the need to highlight significant statements that provide understanding of how the phenomenon was experienced and then use these statements to create meaning clusters that eventually become themes for the data. After the researchers have created their own meaning clusters, we will convene to discuss potential themes for the data and then develop rich descriptions of what the participants experienced and how they did so (Moustaskas, 1994). This description will also include the context in which the participants experienced mentoring students of color.
LGBTQ HBCU Student Experiences Kirstin Byrd Historically, HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) have provided a nurturing academic and social environment for African American students. Yet, homophobia is a major problem affecting LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) students attending HBCUs. These institutions present a far less nurturing environment when it comes to homosexual students. This study intends to explore LGBTQ student experiences at HBCUs, in order to present a student view of climate and to assist HBCUs in becoming inclusive and responsive to the needs of their LGBTQ students. The research question explored in this study addresses how LGBTQ students experience the HBCU, and how their campus contexts contribute to their intersectional identity formation. I am also looking for data on HBCU culture, and African American LGBTQ subcultures that may exist on these campuses. The theoretical framework undergirding this study arises from college student development theory, black feminist theory, and queer of color theory. Participants include undergraduate HBCU students who identify as LGBTQ. Feminist/queer methodology, as well as Astin’s theory of involvement, provide a way to study how LGBTQ students navigate homophobia on campus as they develop their adult and professional identities. A cross-case analysis of student experience narratives gained by in-depth interview allows for a deeper understanding of this group and their needs at their home institutions. This research extends the argument that once every marginalized student’s experience is voiced and analyzed, their institutions will understand how to serve them. To date, most HBCUs offer few supports for LGBTQ students, as evidenced by the fact that less than 30% of the 105 campuses have institutionalized LGBTQ student groups, and only a small minority have a reference to gender identity/expression in their nondiscrimination statements (Rankin, Weber, Blumenfeld, & Frazer, 2010). College is an important time and setting for student development. According to Coleman (1982), during the “coming out of the closet” process, often occurring through the college age-range, negative reactions to an LGBTQ student’s identity may reinforce negative feelings and a low self-concept; alternatively, positive reactions help the student accept their feelings and increase their self-esteem. The college campus is a setting in which students need support in moving from a liminal space of adolescence to their adult and professional identities. The Black LGBTQ HBCU student exists at an intersection of racial identity and sexual orientation where they face marginalization on multiple levels. Faced with dual and multiple marginal identities, African American LGBTQ individuals have to navigate through multiple layers of oppression and discrimination to sustain positive racial and sexual identities. When they face discrimination, the development of a positive and healthy self-esteem is denied them, and they become at-risk to experiencing a plethora of negative outcomes. The goal of this research is to give HBCU student affairs practitioners a framework for understanding intra-racial homophobia, supporting the development their LGBTQ students, and spreading tolerance among campus constituencies. Conducting this study will yield insight on the struggles and needs of this segment of the student population.