Addressing Misperceptions of Underprepared Students
A Case Study at a Public American University
Keywords:Underprepared students, Underrepresented minorities, Cultural responsiveness, At-promise, Faculty/staff networking
This study examines faculty/staff perceptions of underprepared students as well as the experiences of these students in the college setting. Understanding that this crucial population has poor retention, we sought to understand who they were and how the faculty/staff felt about them in an effort to better serve them. While most students surveyed believed their professors wanted them to succeed and were interested in their learning, they also offered insight into areas where faculty could further assist their progress. Faculty/staff revealed both positive and negative feelings about underprepared students, often acknowledging feelings of helplessness when working with them. Through data analysis of surveys from both populations, we identified key areas of focus on which to build a professional development model. By bridging gaps in faculty/staff understanding through a faculty networking approach, we are working together to become more student-ready in addressing student needs wherever they fall, thus promoting student success and retention.
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