An Exploration of How Low-Income Students Engage in Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Undergraduate Life
Access StatusFull text of the requested work is not available in DASH at this time ("dark deposit"). For more information on dark deposits, see our FAQ.
Stevens, Kimberly Ann
MetadataShow full item record
CitationStevens, Kimberly Ann. 2019. An Exploration of How Low-Income Students Engage in Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Undergraduate Life. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractThe below average graduation rates of low-income undergraduates (Nichols, 2015b) have created an urgent need to explore strategies to better support and retain this population. Participation in extracurricular and co-curricular activities is theorized to promote postsecondary retention by engaging students in campus communities, yet low-income students fail to participate in these activities at the same rate as their more affluent peers (Kezar, Walpole, & Perna, 2015; Kuh, 2009). Although financial pressures may be one limiting factor in low-income students’ participation (Walpole, 2003), research suggests that psychological barriers such as low feelings of belonging (Rubin, 2012) may also play a role in shaping students’ undergraduate engagement decisions. This research suggests the importance of studying the resources and relationships that low-income students draw on to successfully engage in extracurricular and co-curricular activities.
This study adds to the existing body of postsecondary engagement literature by exploring the psychological and social factors that inform how successful low-income students experience engaging activities on campus. To do this, the following dissertation study employs in-depth qualitative phenomenological interviewing to investigate how nine successful low-income juniors and seniors chose to engage in university extracurricular and co-curricular activities. Research participants were drawn from a sample of low-income students who participated in a co-curricular federal TRIO program housed within a public university with a large population of successful low-income graduates. This study suggests ways in which administrators can design more effective co-curricular and extracurricular programs and related policies to meet the needs of low-income undergraduates. Findings suggest that providing for basic financial needs, clearly demonstrating the link between engagement and future career goals and emphasizing the opportunity to serve the collective may be important tools that student support services practitioners can use to encourage low-income college student engagement in extracurricular and co-curricular activities.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42081438