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College Academic and Social Identities Study (CASIS): PI, Tabbye Chavous, PH.D.

Race & Gender in Context: A Multi-Method Study of Risk and Resilience in College Students’ Pathways

Funded by the National Science Foundation, this project examines the experiences of ethnic minority students (Black, Latino/a, Asian/Asian American) at five predominantly White universities. A central focus is on academic identity - or students' cognitive, affective, and behavioral engagement in their learning contexts - as necessary for sustained academic motivation, persistence, and success. We examine different forms of racial and gender stigma that ethnic minority students may be particularly likely to experience in predominantly White institutions (token minority status, interpersonal discrimination, hostile racial and gender climates), the ways these experiences may emerge within different disciplinary and social contexts on campus, and the implications of these experiences for students' academic identity development. Using multiple methodologies (longitudinal survey, daily diaries, qualitative interviews), we investigate questions such as:

  • How do students' negative and positive identity-based experiences on campus (discrimination, institutional climate, intergroup interactions) impact their academic identities and subsequent achievement outcomes? In what ways do students draw on their personal and social identities (racial, cultural, gender, social class, among other identities) to support and promote positive academic identity development and motivation?  What characteristics of and structures within students' university institutional contexts support or inhibit students' positive academic identity development? (Principal Investigator: Tabbye Chavous)