Elon Faculty present at high-impact practice conference

Elon faculty presented at the 2020 HIPs in the States Conference this February in College Station, Texas.

Elon faculty presented at the 2020 HIPs in the States Conference this February in College Station, Texas.

Buffie Longmire-Avital, associate professor of psychology, presented her Center for Engaged Learning (CEL) Scholar work on historically underrepresented minority students and high-impact practices (HIPs) at HIPs in the States on February 19th. Her presentation was titled: “The Transformative Power of a Critical Mentor: Engaging and Sustaining Minority Student Participation in High-Impact Practices.”

Longmire-Avital’s project focuses on Historically Underrepresented Minority (HURM) students, members of groups that have “historically comprised a minority of the US population” (NACME, 2013). Despite an increase in racial minority populations in the last 30 – 40 years, where, for example Black emerging adults (ages 18 – 25) have come to represent 15 percent of college-age Americans, their presence at top-tier colleges and universities has held steady at six percent since 1980. In addition to this alarming plateau of growth is the realization that the racial minority population in the U.S. is also steadily increasing.

However, the rate of growth for student enrollment for racial minorities does not come close to the general pace of population growth for these same groups. The persistent racial disparities and inequity in higher education point towards a need for a critical framework to understand and move the academy into a space that acknowledges, sustains, and thrives off equitable engagement. The production of student-driven intellectual property through collaborative and critical mentoring is paramount to dismantling participation disparities across high impact practices.

Longmire-Avital presented a synergistic framework for critically mentoring HURM students engaged in high impact practices. This reparative framework has three main components: (1) Intentional representation and recruitment, (2) inclusive critical consciousness, and (3) student-generated signature work that is transportable and capital building for future success.

To learn more about Longmire-Avital’s work as a CEL Scholar, visit the Center’s website to view all of her blog posts related to her project.

On Feb. 20, Jessie L. Moore (director of the Center for Engaged Learning), Paul C. Miller (assistant provost for academic operations and communications), and Danielle Lake (director of design thinking) presented “Supporting Integrative Learning Through Prompted Reflection: Developing a Mentoring Toolkit for HIPs.”

Elon University’s ongoing commitment to experiential learning and high-impact practices fostered questions about how to further enrich student learning and how best to facilitate integrative learning while advancing the potential of Elon graduates. Work by the Elon Experiences Advisory Committee identified mentoring excellence as an avenue to further enrich student learning. Workshop attendees learned how Elon University developed a mentoring toolkit being piloted this spring and how it challenges students to develop their own educational mission and a plan to execute that mission.

Visit the center’s recent blog post about their presentation to learn more, download their slides, and view the toolkit they created.