The Vermont Connection


College student success goes beyond academic performance in the class- room. With the different social and transitional challenges that arise, students need to be supported holistically, particularly those coming from underrepresented backgrounds. Barriers that these students face are not a new phenomenon in the (un)changing academy. Collier and Morgan (2008) acknowledge that non-academic factors such as social integration, level of financial support, and campus climate are also important in contributing to student retention (pp. 431). Admission, persistence, and graduation are not an easy feat, specifically when you do not have the cultural capital to navigate the college experience. Through the use of Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) I will use the lens of my intersectional identities as a Black woman and first generation college student from a low- income, overcoming institutional and personal barriers in the pursuit of higher education. The highlighted themes are prevalent in numerous areas throughout higher education, extending beyond the scope of practice for student affairs practitioners to encompass divisions such as enrollment management, human resources, diversity and multicultural affairs.