Perspectives on Diverse Student Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion: Volume 14

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(14 chapters)


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The chapters in this book focus on student experiences in higher education and how those experiences shape their identity and influence their academic success. This volume focuses on the key factors in identity development and how student experiences in formal, nonformal, and informal learning activities help shape their identities. This volume discusses the main theories and concepts involved in identity formation and how educators can increase their understanding and importance of identity in education. This volume argues that all forms of learning can create a more engaging and democratically oriented student experience. This volume also argues that inclusive leadership is an important factor in cultivating a rich and dynamic learning environment and bringing about greater equity and inclusion in teaching and learning.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990, comprehensively addressing the life needs and civil rights of people with disabilities (PWDs). Although the ADA would prohibit discrimination in the workforce, public services, transportation, and information, therefore spurring efforts by private and public institutions to plan for and adopt accessible environments and practices, the actual voice and experience of PWDs often remains unacknowledged, even on university campuses and in academic programs that purport to have progressive ideals. This chapter examines the efforts made by one midsized, comprehensive, American university not only to remove architectural, social, and academic barriers to student success as required by law, but to establish an academic voice for the disability experience and the disability rights movement through the newly founded Accessibility Studies Program.


This empirical study provides a phenomenological analysis of student veteran perceptions and experiences regarding student support programs in higher education and the accommodations provided for student with hidden wounds, specifically posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Qualitative data were collected through semistructured interviews to answer the research question: What are the traits of student support programs in US higher education institutions that assist in the successful degree completion of student veterans coping with hidden wounds? Participants were military veterans who recently attended undergraduate degree programs at US-based higher education institutions. Data analysis through in vivo and thematic coding showed dominant themes related to student expectations of student support programs. These themes included acknowledging specific needs of student veterans as nontraditional students, communication between students and institutions, awareness of the stigma around disabilities, standardization of services offered, social groups to connect veterans to other veterans, and need for proactive assessment of students unwilling to initiate accommodation requests. Practical implications for higher education leaders to improve current student support programs and future research recommendations are provided to expand upon the need for improving student support programs in America and abroad.


Due to the country’s most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the enactment of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, colleges and universities across the United States have experienced a remarkable increase in student veteran enrollment. As a result, many college campuses have been challenged with knowing how to effectively support veterans as they transition from military life to college life. Although there is notable good intention, this challenge can impact an institution’s ability to offer adequate support. Consequently, many student veterans remain at the margins of the college experience, often affected by their distinct circumstances and a campus that may not be fully prepared to support them. This is a matter of equity and inclusion at its core. Students who are not well understood are likely to be underrepresented and underserved. Therefore, veterans must be included in the equity and inclusion conversation. A review of the literature confirms that student veteran support must involve a greater understanding of the student veteran experience, address institutional barriers to access, replace deficit models of support with more equitable practices, and challenge the dominant paradigm of student success that overemphasizes students’ individual and group characteristics and overlooks the role educators play in student achievement.


In this study, the authors investigated the academic and social experiences of first-generation undergraduate Latinx students who participated in a Latinx student-focused organization at a large, research-intensive, Predominately White Institution (PWI) in the Midwest. Our results revealed three major themes. First, participants considered the Latinx student organization to be a significant resource for their social integration into the university; however, it was less significant as an academic resource. Second, the participants recognized that while the university “tries” to promote diversity, they felt that the university could do more in promoting ethnic student groups and their interests across campus. Third, participants perceived that the university treats all Latinx students as one homogenous group, ignoring the diversity that exists between different Latinx groups. These themes suggest that efforts to make PWIs more diverse and inclusive may benefit from the formation and maintenance of minoritized ethnic student organizations. PWIs would also benefit by incorporating the diverse Latinx student perspectives into institutional diversity policy, and prioritizing higher-quality initiatives for greater visibility of Latinx student issues across campus. Moreover, programming that does not aggregate or homogenize Latinx identity, but embraces and values the multifaceted Latinx identities, would also benefit PWIs.


The study investigated the relevance of psychosocial variables and how they interact with socio economic status (SES) as it relates to the persistence of African-American students at the major US public universities. The study analyzed the responses of 327 web survey participants attending a major public university in the eastern region of the United States. The results suggest that students from higher SES backgrounds, more than likely, have already acquired or are more easily able to adopt characteristics that are ideal for persistence (e.g., commitment to personal goals, and biculturalism) than students from lower SES backgrounds.

Previous studies have shown that – even after controlling for precollege performance – students who come from families with higher-income levels and parental education persist to graduate at higher rates and earn higher-grade point averages (Bowen & Bok, 1998; Pascarella, 1985). This study purports to provide the context for reflecting on the ways in which current student persistence theories might be modified to account more directly for how SES may influence psychosocial variables that contribute to the process of African-American student persistence in major US universities.


In this chapter, EYES theory proposes that international students view themselves and appraise their social standing of their own race based in relationship to extant social perceptions of racial stereotypes in the United States. These stereotypes are determined by geography which exude from the legacy of enslavement in the United States. EYES theory proposes that international students view racial differences through these dynamics by assessing their own identity in regards to race, colorsim and group identification. Specifically, international students use racial groups to classify, rank, and understand racial differences that are informed by these social geographies that impart a white/black racial discourse by which international students navigate their social status. EYES theory challenges the intellectual perception of heterogeneity among international students and in regards to race posits that international students experience mico and macrolevel contexts regarding race due to the socio-historical legacy of racism in the United States. The authors anticipate that EYES theory may have implications for study in other geographical contexts where a black white dichotomy serves as the parameter for understanding racial relationships and hegemony.


US citizens who attend international medical schools (US IMGs) are more likely to be of Hispanic, Black American, or Asian descent compared to US medical students. As physicians, US IMGs contribute diversity to the health-care workforce; their experiences and perspectives have improved the health outcomes for populations typically underserved. To become a competent medical professional is a challenging experience, especially for IMGs who may have entered medical school with less than optimal academic histories. During this journey, some students develop academic and clinical deficiencies. Addressing these deficits through remediation interventions are critical to the student’s performance as a physician. This study measured the resiliency, self-efficacy, and self-compassion of IMGs who completed remediation while in medical school. Results indicate older students experienced failure more often and were found to have significantly higher levels of self-compassion compared to younger students. Males were assigned significantly more remedial interventions compared to the female participants. Finally, strong positive correlations suggested that the more remediation interventions students were provided, the more likely they were satisfied with their overall remediation experience. These findings indicate that by varying support strategies and encouraging student’s orientation to resiliency, self-efficacy, and self-compassion may assist them in overcoming their deficits.


Mature student numbers across England’s Higher Education (HE) sector have been declining since the rise in tuition fees in 2012. Leading up to Brexit, there is a need to upskill the national workforce to provide services and skills currently sourced from the EU. Mature students play a key role in this process, as HE study can add to existing industry experiences, knowledge, and skills. Hence, the HE sector in England is beginning to evaluate and change the way in which universities and colleges can provide support to mature students from recruitment to the completion of their course.

Institutions can encourage a sense of belonging in mature students through the use of mature student mentors and ambassadors at open days, and as points of contact throughout any course. It is important to create a mature student community to provide an appropriate support network, but equally academic staff should encourage the engagement of mature students with their younger peers.

This chapter provides an insight into relevant research literature and uses examples from a case study based in a small HE provider setting to make practical recommendations for academic staff, support staff, and areas of institutional practice.


Indian higher education system is supposed to be the source of equal opportunities to all students irrespective of their life circumstances. Does it succeed in realizing this ideal? In fact, the system of higher education inadvertently plays a critical role in constructing and recreating the inequalities between groups. The prime victims of inequality are first-generation students, whose disadvantages are unseen, their voices ignored. In India, first-generation students are typically confronted with the dynamics of caste-based inequality in addition to their deficiency in cultural and social capital. In this context, the purpose of this study was to examine the difference between who goes and who stops for higher education across generational status. Field survey data of 930 senior secondary students was employed as the basis for analysis. Findings of this study highlight that the gap between realization and planning is more in first-generation students as compared to their counterparts. Results of logistic regression indicate location, category, family income, academic achievement, stream of education, and social and cultural capital are pertinent factors that influence educational attainment of first-generation students.

Name Index

Pages 173-180
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Subject Index

Pages 181-186
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Cover of Perspectives on Diverse Student Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
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Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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