Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Community College Mentors: The Development and Uses of Cultural and Social Capital to Interrupt Marginalization
by Debro, Karl G., Ed.D., Mills College, 2012, 165; 3518645
Abstract (Summary)

The topic of this study is a community college mentoring program, connecting small groups of students with a campus employee. The mentoring program was a feature in a pilot AVID student success class. Specifically, this study attempts to answer the following questions: How do AVID College Mentors develop genuine relationships with their Mentees? Using a lens of cultural capital, race, first generation to college, and class, what challenges and opportunities do they see in their work? What are the implications for institutional change? Both students and college staff took part in this study. Staff was a mix of classified staff, administrators, and faculty. For the most part, the students in the study were low income, first generation to college, African American, and Latino. The mentoring program represented an effort to help traditionally marginalized students develop social and cultural capital as a means of improving their likelihood of college success. The study examined in particular the role of relationships among mentors and students in developing that capital. Data show mentors built genuine relationships that validated students and that students truly valued. Mentors often acted in multiple ways to undergird students. Further, two distinct approaches or stances towards relationships with students emerged from the mentors: the ally stance and the navigator stance. While both stances were effective, both had limitations too. Mentors worked throughout the year to find an appropriate balance between the two postures. Implications include the possibility that community colleges explore means of piloting and expanding similar programs and budgeting work time for the purpose.

Keywords: community college, mentors, cultural capital, race, class, first generation to college

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Donahue, David
Commitee: Cooks, Jamal, Stroud, Regina, Zirkel, Sabrina
School: Mills College
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Educational leadership
Keywords: Community college, Cultural capital, First generation to college, Mentors, Race, Socioeconomic class
Publication Number: 3518645
ISBN: 9781267503602
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