English Composition 121

Blog Post 5

It was a bit difficult to find studies related to race and its effect on the experience of college students in their school. All the good ones you had to either sign up for, or pay. So, I supposed I’ll just look at articles related to my topic instead. One of the pieces I found is from the National Bureau of Economic Research. In a piece titled “Race and Ethnicity in the College Classroom”, they bring up that “Community colleges currently enroll more than half of all minority students attending public universities and nearly half of all students attending public universities in the United States. In addition to providing workforce training, they serve as an important gateway to four-year colleges, and thus are a crucial part of the post-secondary educational system in the United States.” Race already has an effect on the college you will most likely be attending. Additionally, “The researchers find that minority students perform better in classes when their instructors are of the same race or ethnicity. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans are 2.9 percentage points more likely to pass courses with instructors of similar background. These effects represent roughly half of the total gaps in classroom outcomes between white and underrepresented minority students at the college.” College students experience was also impacted by the race of their professors, as they tended to do better with professors of the same ethnicity or race.

An article from the Wall Street Journal titled “Hard Truths About Race on Campus” discusses more in depth about the life of students on the campus and reasons for any sort of discrimination in terms of race. In regards to things like affirmative action which I discuss in my auto-ethnography, the article states “As a result of these disparate admissions standards, many students spend four years in a social environment where race conveys useful information about the academic capacity of their peers. People notice useful social cues, and one of the strongest causes of stereotypes is exposure to real group differences. If a school commits to doubling the number of black students, it will have to reach deeper into its pool of black applicants, admitting those with weaker qualifications, particularly if most other schools are doing the same thing. This is likely to make racial gaps larger, which would strengthen the negative stereotypes that students of color find when they arrive on campus.” Another point that the article adds is “And racial gaps in classroom performance create other problems. A 2013 study by the economist Peter Arcidiacono of Duke University found that students tend to befriend those who are similar to themselves in academic achievement. This is a big contributor to the patterns of racial and ethnic self-segregation visible on many campuses. If a school increases its affirmative-action efforts in ways that expand these gaps, it is likely to end up with more self-segregation and fewer cross-race friendships, and therefore with even stronger feelings of alienation among black students.” Things that are not directly race but can be traced back to race such as social status also have an effect on the campus life of students.

A trend that I noticed from both of the articles is that it was mainly focused on black and Hispanic students and how they were affected. The disagreement could be the exact cause of any discrimination in campuses. My writing project fits into this because it will be centered on my experience and be more detailed and specific for one person whereas these were more general.

One thought on “Blog Post 5

  1. Dhipinder Walia

    Ramish, you’ve got great summaries and analysis of three articles here. I’m not really convinced of the trend you spot out though. A trend isn’t necessarily just about noting what population is being discussed as much as it is about figuring out behavior patterns or cause and effect connections. I would urge you to continue doing research about affirmative action and the idea of diversity. I’ve got some recommended readings if you’re interested:

    Berrey, Ellen. 2015. Chapters 1-3 in The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Racial Justice.Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    Jack, Anthony. 2016. “(No) Harm in Asking: Class, Acquired Cultural Capital, and Academic Engagement at an Elite University.” Sociology of Education 89(1): 1-19.

    Solorazno, Daniel, Miguel Ceja, and Tara Yosso. 2000. “Critical Race Theory, Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate: The Experiences of African-American Colleges Students.” Journal of Negro Education69(1-2):60-73.

    If you want to borrow my Berrey book, let me know!


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