We need to convey to students there is nothing to be embarrassed about in terms of where you started. The focus here is on where you want to finish.
Students from low-income areas are in a double-bind. Even if they rise above their economic background to be accepted at college and work toward a better future, the substandard education they received at their neighborhood schools all but guarantees them the second-class academic label of “remedial” students. Neither their economic poverty nor their impoverished education are necessarily any fault of their own, but often merely the unlucky circumstance of their birth into a family in a poor, working-class neighborhood.
Colleges have reason to fear being held accountable for the very large numbers of these students they routinely accept each year, knowing that many of these students will never make it through two semesters. This practice has the advantage that the colleges can claim that they offer broad access to postsecondary education, while regarding the students who wash out as underachievers, and the high schools they came from as ineffective.
Colleges actively perpetuate the social stigma of students who are academically underprepared (“we offered them remedial classes”), while at the same time actively reduce the social stigma of students who are economically underfinanced (“we offered them financial assistance”), for the simple reason that both stragegies are in the college’s own self-interest.
19 Notes/ Hide
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