Journal of Student Affairs

JoSA: Volume IX, 2013

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1. Senior Year Experience: An Emerging Course to Transition Beyond Graduation

Jennifer Lease Butts, Catherine M. Carter, Thomas L. Dickens, Daniel J. Doerr, Jessica N. Emig, Kristen R. Glines, Fany D. Hannon, Katie J. Michel | University of Connecticut

Institutions across the country have started implementing senior year experience programs. The senior year experience is a flexible and evolving concept; each program developed is specific to the institution and the needs of their senior students (Eckel, 1994; Gardner, 1999; Gardner et al., 1998). The purpose of this paper is to share findings related to the effects enrollment in the elective Senior Year Experience (SYE) course at a large, public institution has on seniors’ attitudes toward the institution’s efforts to prepare them for graduation and their expressed dispositions to stay connected to the institution through the institution’s alumni association. Research indicated that compared with non-participants, seniors who had previously taken or were currently enrolled in the SYE course were found to have greater affinity to the Alumni Association, expressed more positive feelings regarding the institution’s role in preparing them to leave the university, reported feeling more prepared to leave the institution, and expressed greater feelings of connectedness to the university.

2. Women in Higher Education: How WWII Encouraged Women to Study STEM

Caroline Cristal | New York University

The purpose of this article is to analyze the effect of World War II (WWII) on women’s experience in higher education with a focus on the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. In order to explore this idea, research was done examining the history of the higher education curriculum available to women up to and including to the Second World War. Examples are provided of the visible change in the courses available to women during WWII from traditionally female-oriented subjects in the liberal arts and humanities to the STEM subjects that aided in the WWII wartime efforts. The impact of WWII and the women studying the STEM fields is also discussed. Recommendations are then offered on how universities and colleges can continue to support and encourage female students who are interested in pursuing their academic interests in the STEM fields conclude this paper.

3. Former Foster Care Youth in Higher Education

Liz Reinhardt | University of Missouri

Former foster care youth (FFY) comprise a student population seldom ad- dressed in student affairs literature. As a group, FFY face unique barriers in their access to and persistence in college due to their lack of traditional support systems and sometimes traumatic personal histories. Consequently, FFY access higher education at much lower rates than non-foster care stu- dents. This paper reviews the literature on FFY in higher education by first detailing the population’s unique obstacles and then examining the govern- mental policies and educational programs aimed to improve access and de- gree attainment. By educating the higher education community about this vulnerable population and sharing information about progressive programs, this paper serves to draw attention to this often invisible population and to encourage higher education institutions to provide greater support to FFY in their own colleges and universities.

4. Confessions of a "Love & Hip Hop" Junkie: A Critical Essay on Reality Television and Its Influence on the Dating Behavior of Black College Women

Shawna Patterson | The Florida State University

Since “The Real World” hit the small screen in 1992, the concept of watching people exhibit their lives on television has quickly exploded into one of the fastest growing franchises in the entertainment industry. Though several reality television programs currently broadcasted involve themes surrounding relationships, competition, and physical prowess, shows geared towards the African American community have consistently promoted images of hypersexuality, profanity, and violence. From Flavor of Love to The Basketball Wives series, Black women consuming these works are continuously presented with conflicting representations of dating, relationships, and the value of Black women. Low-income Black undergraduate women attending predominantly White institutions (PWIs) who watch reality television are particularly susceptible to these messages because of institutional factors that challenge Black women at PWIs, such as a lack in mentorship and cultural representation. This essay discusses how constant encounters with these portrayals of Black Love may influence how low-income Black college women select their role models and engage in romantic relationships.


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