Students from low-income backgrounds come to college with valuable perspectives and strengths, yet they also face daunting challenges—from rising college costs, to family and work responsibilities, to the difficulty of navigating predominantly middle-class norms on campus, to basic needs insecurity. The contributors to this issue of Diversity & Democracy describe their work to honor students’ assets and identify and break down barriers that may stand in the way of their success.
Diversity and Democracy
This issue of Diversity & Democracy examines how colleges and universities are studying the histories of their institutions and local communities, connecting history to present-day issues, and working to create a better future. The colleges and universities featured in this issue are working to promote equity, integrity, and civic responsibility by strengthening campus/community relationships and creating new programs, practices, and legacies.
Produced in partnership with the Kettering Foundation, this issue of Diversity & Democracy explores what alumni are saying about civic engagement in and after college and describes how higher education institutions are building relationships with their civic-minded former students. Contributors to this issue examine how alumni are actively engaging in the places where they live and work and helping to improve the undergraduate experience.
AAC&U and the Kettering Foundation partnered to produce this issue and shared the production costs. The Kettering Foundation, established in 1927 by inventor Charles F. Kettering, is a nonprofit operating foundation that does not make grants but engages in joint research with others. Kettering’s primary research question is, what does it take to make democracy work as it should? Kettering’s research is distinctive because it is conducted from the perspective of citizens and focuses on what people can do collectively to address problems affecting their lives, their communities, and their nation. The foundation seeks to identify and address the challenges to making democracy work as it should through interrelated program areas that focus on citizens, communities, and institutions. The interpretations and conclusions contained in this volume represent the views of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, its directors, or its officers.
As campus communities become increasingly diverse, it is crucial to build cultures in higher education that respect and support all aspects of students’ and educators’ multiple, intersecting identities. This issue of Diversity & Democracy, produced in partnership with Bringing Theory to Practice and funded in part by Bringing Theory to Practice and the Endeavor Foundation, examines how higher education institutions can take an intersectional approach to fostering individual, community, and institutional well-being.