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    Ace Your Freshman Year of College

    en-usSeptember 21, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Navigating the First Year of CollegeParticipate in summer bridge programs, form connections, seek resources, and maintain balance for a successful first-year college experience.

      The first year of college can be a challenging experience for many students, but there are ways to make the transition easier. NPR's Elisa Nadworny shares some valuable insights from her reporting on higher education. She emphasizes that getting accepted into a college is just the beginning, and the first year requires navigation and adjustment. One effective strategy is participating in summer bridge programs, which help students acclimate to college life before the academic year starts. Additionally, forming connections with peers and professors, seeking academic and mental health resources, and maintaining a healthy balance between academics and social life are crucial for a successful first-year college experience. It's essential for students, parents, and friends to understand that the challenges faced during the first year of college are normal and expected, and there are resources and strategies to help students thrive.

    • Invest wisely in collegePick classes wisely, understand graduation requirements, plan for additional classes or longer timelines, and seek guidance from advisors for a strong college start

      Going to college requires purpose and careful planning. Yolanda Watson Spiva of Complete College America emphasizes the importance of having a clear agenda before attending college. It's not just about self-discovery or following the advice of others; it's an investment of time and money. To finish strong, students should pick their classes wisely and map out their path. This includes understanding the number of credits required for graduation and planning for any additional summer classes or longer timelines. Advisors, like Odette De Leon at Valencia College, are there to inform and guide students through the process. Your first semester sets the tone for your college experience, so it's crucial to do well and establish a strong foundation for your academic journey.

    • Choosing classes wisely and building supportive relationshipsEffective college planning involves balancing class workload, researching resources, and forming relationships with faculty or staff for academic and emotional support.

      College planning involves careful consideration of academic workload and seeking out supportive relationships. GPAs can impact scholarship eligibility and financial aid, so choosing classes wisely is essential. Some classes require more effort than others, and it's crucial to find a balance. Researching class syllabi and speaking with advisors can help determine workload and availability of resources. Building a connection with a faculty or staff member can provide valuable advice, opportunities, and emotional support. As Rick Lopez's story demonstrates, these relationships can be life-changing. By being transparent about your experiences and seeking guidance, you can create a strong bond that lasts beyond the classroom.

    • Enhance your college experience through office hoursOffice hours offer valuable insights and opportunities beyond the classroom, helping students clarify doubts, ask questions, and learn new things.

      Attending office hours can significantly enhance your college experience. It may seem intimidating at first, but these one-on-one meetings with professors can provide valuable insights and opportunities beyond the classroom. Rick, a former student, shares how he formed a meaningful connection with his mentor during office hours. Anaya Washington, a first-generation student, initially found office hours terrifying, but they ended up helping her understand her classes better and even led to private grammar lessons. Schools and professors are now making office hours less intimidating by holding them in more casual settings. Don't miss out on the chance to ask questions, clarify doubts, and learn new things during office hours. They can open the door to extra knowledge and resources that aren't even on the syllabus.

    • Making connections and advocating for yourself in collegeFind supportive peers through class assignments, study groups, and extracurriculars. Be your own advocate by utilizing college resources and taking charge of your journey.

      Making connections with fellow students and being an advocate for yourself are crucial components of a successful college experience. Finding a group of supportive peers can help ease the academic and social challenges of college. This can be achieved through class assignments, study groups, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, being your own advocate means taking charge of your college journey and utilizing the resources available to you. Remember, you are the customer, and the college is there to serve you. It's important to remember that making friends and finding your footing in college can take time, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen right away. Keep reaching out and taking risks. Lastly, discovering and utilizing your unique strengths, even if they don't seem like strengths at first, can lead to unexpected success.

    • Navigating College with ConfidenceFind purpose, choose classes wisely, build relationships, attend office hours, connect with resources, prioritize self-care, and remember to advocate for yourself in college

      College can be overwhelming, but it's important to remember to take care of yourself and lean on your strengths. Go to college with a clear purpose, choose your classes wisely, and make connections with faculty or staff members. Attend office hours to build relationships and find a supportive peer group. Remember, you are your own advocate, and college is a collaborative experience. Connect with resources and don't hesitate to ask for help. Additionally, prioritize self-care and relaxation when needed. College is an investment in your future, and taking advantage of all the opportunities it offers requires a balanced approach.

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    Antiracism and Racism Glossary

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    Antiracism and Racism

                

    The following is an essential collection of terms related to antiracism and racism. More comprehensive glossaries on this topic are available from Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership (2020), Diversity Advisory Council (n.d.), Georgetown University Library (2020), Institute for Democratic Renewal and Project Change Anti-Racism Institute (2019), Pokhrel et al., (2021), Race Forward (2015), Sue, Williams, & Owens (2021) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (n.d.). Complete references to these glossaries and often an online link to them are found in the reference section at the end of this glossary.

     

    ally

    According to Pokhrel et al. (2021, pp. 77–78):

    1. Definitions: (a) “A person who supports a group other than their own identities, such as gender, RACE, religion, and sex” (Berkner Boyt, 2020, para. 10); and (b) A person who acknowledges disadvantages and oppression of other groups and takes action to stand with them and oppose the oppression (Wenger, n.d., p. 164).

    2. Examples: (a) Speaking up on behalf of people of color (POC) during conversations when others make disparaging comments, MICROAGGRESSION behaviors, jokes, or stereotypical statements whether  POC are  present or not (Davis, 1989); (b) Participating in meetings hosted by POC that raise awareness about issues of identity (racial, sexual, etc.); (c) Displaying posters that advocate for social justice on the learning center walls; (d) Displaying a welcome poster on the learning center wall with the word “welcome” in languages spoken by members of the student body; (e) Asking questions of POC “like ‘what do I need to know,’ ‘how can I help,’ and ‘what can we do together?’” (Ludema & Johnson, 2020, Don’t be paternalistic section); (f) Taking time to read books and watch videos on racial topics (history, slavery, systemic racism, etc.)  and  avoid asking POC to explain complex racial issues to you; (g) Marching in a Pride Parade to advocate for an  annual audit of pay equity (Ludema & Johnson, 2020, Do take ally-like actions section); (h) Taking actions that create an environment so that POC speak for themselves (Ludema & Johnson, 2020, Don’t speak for others section); (i) Responding when the leader of the campus LBGTQ affinity group contacts you to offer support to the goals of the affinity group for Black employees; (j) Using authority as the Resident Hall Assistant to confront students on the dorm floor who are dressed up as border patrol and migrants at the border and stop the activity, and using this incident as opportunity to inform all residents that this activity is not appropriate or acceptable learning opportunity (k) South Asian woman marching at various Black Lives Matter protests while holding up a sign saying “South Asians for Black Lives;” and (l) attending campus and social activities hosted by POC.

    3. Compare with ANTIRACISM (verb), EQUALITY, EQUITY, and SOCIAL JUSTICE.

    antiracism

    According to Pokhrel et al. (2021, p. 78):

    1. Definition: “The work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts” (Race Forward, 2015, p. 25).

    2. Examples: (a) Report any acts of discrimination to the institution's Dean of Students or Title IX Officer; (b) Ensure the racial diversity of the professional staff and the student employees of the learning center equals or exceeds the diversity demographics of the student population; (c) Best practices in antiracist language and behavior is a part of all professional development and training sessions for staff and student employees of tutoring and small group study sessions.

    3. Compare with ALLY, RACISM, SPACE RACISM, and SOCIAL JUSTICE.

     

    assimilationist

    According to Pokhrel et al. ( 2021, p. 79):

    1. Definition: Describes the process that a dominant group makes invisible a smaller, powerless group defining characteristics and identity (Yoshino, 2013).

    2. Examples: (a) Focusing on Standard Written English in school may be considered an assimilationist pedagogy, as it requires racial and ethnic groups to change or hide their linguistic heritage; (b) reminding immigrant children how fortunate they are to have arrived in the United States; (c) not permitting reading in or using language from the country of origin during class sessions; and (d) not recognizing the common experience of confusion and stressful transition for the immigrant or marginalized U.S. citizens.

    3. Compare with INSTITUTIONAL RACISM, MICROAGGRESSION, and RACISM.

     

    check your privilege

    According to Pokhrel et al. (2021, pp. 79–80):

    1. Definition: “When someone asks you to ‘CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE,’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in your life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing and in fact may be contributing to those struggles” (Oluo, 2019, p. 63).

    2. Examples: (a) A White person considering the advantages that being White affords them regarding assumptions about their creditworthiness, honesty, and trustworthiness, among others; (b) Advantages that accompany being the second generation in the family to attend or graduate from college; and (c) Having family members who can mentor a younger person as they navigate the challenges of life.

    3. Compare with PRIVILEGE.

     

    climate

    According to Pokhrel et al. (2021, p. 80):

    1. Definitions: (a) Perceptions and experiences by individual members of the organizational environment; and (b) influences how an individual feels valued, safe, fairly treated, and treated with dignity.

    2. Examples: (a) At a learning center, staff or student of color experience a CLIMATE of hostility and unwelcomeness toward them due to the attitudes and behaviors of its staff. For example, a staff member assumes that a student of color who comes to the front desk needs a tutor when the student is actually applying for a tutoring or study group job; (b) usually, on predominantly White institutions with few faculty, staff, and administrators who are people of color, the CLIMATE is “cold” or “chilly” to Latinx students who attend class or participate in predominantly White clubs; (c) When a Black student walks into a campus honor society meeting with all White students in attendance,  the White students stare at the Black student as though they are entering by mistake. The honor society president asks immediately for credentials to validate the Black student’s participation but does not ask other White applicants to validate their participation. The Black student begins to feel unwelcome, and, as a result, the events at the honor society create an atmosphere in which the Black student experiences STEREOTYPE THREAT; and (d) A Black adult male is stopped by the campus police while he is walking across the campus at night, which often happens to African, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Latinx people. The Black male was wearing a dark pea coat and a kufi skull cap. The campus police demanded to know why he was on the campus. He replied that he just finished work after a long day as the Vice-Chancellor for Diversity Affairs and was walking home to have a late dinner with his family in his own neighborhood.

    3. Compare with IMPLICIT BI...