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dc.contributor Deeb-Sossa, Natalia en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Chávez, José en_US
dc.contributor.author West, Alyssa Nicole
dc.date.accessioned 2017-08-21T14:26:32Z
dc.date.available 2017-08-21T14:26:32Z
dc.date.issued 2017-08-21
dc.date.submitted 2017-08-04
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/194896
dc.description Thesis (M.A., Education (Higher Education Leadership))--California State University, Sacramento, 2017. en_US
dc.description.abstract Institutions of higher education in the United States were originally designed to cater to students from middle- and upper-class backgrounds. Over the years, however, changing social, political, and economic factors have led to increased enrollment of students from low-income backgrounds. While resources have been allocated to support their recruitment and retention in higher education, the data show that low-income students, particularly students of color, continue to under-enroll and underperform at four-year universities in comparison to their wealthier peers (National Center for Education Statistics, 2015, 2017a). In response to these findings, scholars have investigated some of the ways in which campus policies, practices, and culture continue to privilege the wealthy elite and create obstacles to the success and well-being of low-income students. With food insecurity and housing instability emerging as prevalent issues on many college campuses, specific attention has been given to the assessment of how institutional structures impact the ability of students to meet their basic needs (such as food and housing), as it is necessary to satisfy these before higher-order needs (such as self-actualization and academic success) can be pursued (Maslow, 1943). Poverty is a critical issue in the state of California. Reports indicate that one in five individuals lives in poverty, and nearly half of the children in the state are poor or near poor (Bohn & Danielson, 2017a; Renwick & Fox, 2016). One approach to improve individual outcomes, while also improving the overall condition of the state, is creating holistically supportive educational environments that are responsive to the needs of low-income student. As such, this study examines whether the existing institutional support systems meet low-income students’ needs and how this support, or lack thereof, impacts student success and well-being. Data were collected from a public four-year research university in California that boasts an enrollment of over 30,000 students, with 40% designated as low-income. As the Latinx (a gender-neutral variation of Latina/o) community is the largest population in the state and experiences the greatest incidences of poverty, this study focused on documenting Latinx student experiences with food and housing insecurity at a four-year university. Purposive sampling was utilized to recruit student participants from the academic department with the highest percentage of Latinx students. Online surveys administered through Qualtrics were distributed to approximately 197 undergraduate students within the identified department. These surveys sought to investigate the prevalence, impact, and navigational experiences of students facing food and/or housing instability while attending a four-year university. To measure food insecurity, questions from the United States Department of Agriculture U.S. Adult Food Security Survey Module (United States Department of Agriculture, 2012) were utilized, while housing instability was assessed by means of questions adapted from the Housing Instability Index (Rollins, 2012). Questions were also asked concerning the students’ awareness and utilization of institutional and community resources. Food insecurity and housing instability are determined to be prevalent issues impacting the success and well-being of Latinx students at this public four-year research university. Institutional barriers, along with a lack of resources or limited student awareness of the resources available both on and off campus, likely contribute to poorer academic and health outcomes for these students. Based on these findings, institutional leaders should carefully consider how institutional policies and practices could be transformed in order to better support the needs of both low-income students and the economy as a whole. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Education (Higher Education Leadership) en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Higher education en_US
dc.subject Food insecurity en_US
dc.subject Housing instability en_US
dc.title The struggle is real : an exploration of the prevalence and experiences of low-income Latinx undergraduate students navigating food and housing insecurity at a four-year research university en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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