Do I Belong Here? Urban Students and the Obstacles to Their Academic and Professional Success
Elementary and secondary school students from urban and lower socioeconomic (SES) contexts, regardless of race & ethnicity, are facing increasing challenges with regards to scholastic achievement, successful collegiate enrollment and completion, and subsequent income levels as adults than ever before. This crisis is occurring at the same time that the U.S. is on the verge of losing global competitive advantage in professions requiring (at least) college degrees such as science, technology, engineering, and math-related fields. As a nation, we desperately need to increase the academic and professional success of youth from underrepresented backgrounds. We continue to allow low engagement from our urban youth at our own national peril! So what can educators in urban contexts do about this? In this presentation, Dr. Núñez’s principal contention is that apart from the “hard skills” for academic success that our schools currently focus on, there is a dire need to concentrate on transmitting a set of psychological competencies to our students empowering them not just to get to college, but to flourish once they are there in order to become professionals making a significant impact on our nation’s future.