Research Grants for Student & Faculty Research –The Pedagogy of Student Success Project (TPSSP)

The Pedagogy of Student Success Project (TPSSP) Joe Palencia

Joe Palencia, Ph.D. student SAHE

Dr. David Perez and his research team illuminate how exposing Graduate Student Affairs Educators (GSAE) to anti-deficit perspectives in a graduate-level course — EDL 696: Student Success in Higher Education — enhanced their understanding of student success. This study makes significant contributions to research on student success in higher education (Kuh, Kinzie, Buckley, Bridges, & Hayek, 2007; Kuh et al., 2005; Perna & Thomas, 2008; Schreiner et al., 2012). Whereas researchers generally focus on the experiences of undergraduates (Quaye & Harper, 2015), this study redirects attention toward the role educators play in creating and sustaining environments that contribute to student success (Schreiner et al., 2012). Additionally, this study broadens anti-deficit discourses on K-12 teachers to educators who work closely with students in different higher education contexts (Harper, 2012a; Valencia,2010).  Consistent with the literature on successful minoritized college students (Harper, 2009; Pérez & Taylor, 2017), the perspectives offered by graduate students in this study can inform future research and teaching initiatives that prepare aspiring college educators to employ anti-deficit perspectives in their practice. Harper’s (2012a) Anti-Deficit Achievement Framework (ADAF) was used as the theoretical framework to develop EDL 696 and will be used to inform our analysis of the following research question: How does exposure to anti-deficit research on student success in higher education transform the way GSAEs conceptualize collegiate success?

Utilizing the Dedoose, web-based qualitative software, Dr. Perez and his research team (Makana A.L. Agcaoili, SAHE Masters Student & Joe J. Palencia, SAHE PhD Student) analyzed data from the Fall 2015 cohort during the 2017-2018 academic year. The TPSSP research team presented preliminary findings at the 2018 annual Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Monday March 5, 2018.  As a result of attending this session, participants were able to explore the tenets of Harper’s (2010) anti-deficit achievement framework, engage in critical dialogue about fostering the success of underrepresented and underserved students in higher education, and develop a preliminary plan to advance research, policies, or practices that increase student success. Their presentation, Raising New Questions: Using Anti-Deficit Approaches to Socialize Graduate Student Affairs Practitioners on Fostering Student Success in Higher Education, extends Perez et al.’s (2017) research by exploring three critical questions that emerged among graduate student affairs practitioners that were exposed to anti-deficit research in EDL 696:

How do we measure student success?   

What factors undermine the success of underrepresented college students?

Who is responsible for fostering student success in higher education?