• Researchers search to advance anti-racist college counseling, provide tips
    College Guidance and Counseling

    Researchers search to advance anti-racist college counseling, provide tips

    Researchers search to advance anti-racist college counseling, provide tips
    Credit score: Unsplash/CC0 Public Area

    Dismantling inequality in U.S. academic programs requires ongoing, energetic, intentional participation in anti-racist practices by not solely lecturers but additionally college counselors, in line with a School of Training college member.

    “A critically acutely aware anti-racist college counselor is at all times engaged on themselves whereas making an attempt to assist individuals exterior of themselves,” mentioned Janice Byrd, assistant professor of training (counselor training).

    Byrd and Renae Mayes, an affiliate professor within the College of Arizona’s School of Training, present tips for college counselors to develop anti-racist approaches of their work in a conceptual paper, “An Antiracist Framework for Proof-Knowledgeable College Counseling Apply.” Within the paper, Byrd and Mayes focus on the sociohistorical panorama that shapes the present context of Okay–12 colleges; define vital lenses and idea that function a basis for antiracist follow; and focus on an evidence-informed means of partaking in antiracist college counseling follow.

    College counselors are positioned to play a pivotal position in anti-racist training, Byrd mentioned, including that as everlasting fixtures within the U.S. college system, they “had been skilled to be social justice warriors and alter brokers earlier than there was such a factor as anti-racist college counseling.” Whereas racism has at all times been entrenched in academic programs, she mentioned that anti-racist idea emerged comparatively just lately for college counselors. Anti-racist practices turned a name amongst college counselors after the filmed homicide of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in April 2020.

    “Now that we now have (anti-racist idea), there’s a extra systematic method—let’s elevate the best way we do that work,” mentioned Byrd.

    College counselors are in a singular place to take care of college students’ social/emotional wants within the aftermath of racial trauma, Byrd mentioned, in addition to affect an understanding of distinction among the many scholar physique. Counselors play a key position in college students’ social, educational and profession improvement.

    “All of these issues assist to empower college students individually and collectively which nonetheless falls into a scientific method to anti-racism,” mentioned Byrd.

    Byrd and Mayes provide a number of suggestions for college counselors and counselor educators to think about if committing themselves to being antiracist. Their first suggestion is to “actively have interaction in ongoing self-reflective work to problem acutely aware and unconscious racist attitudes, beliefs and biases.”

    “We stroll in the identical fog of bias,” mentioned Byrd. “Everybody, together with individuals who maintain a marginalized id, will be prejudiced, discriminatory and might contribute to dangerous practices that disproportionally hurt Black and brown college students. Nonetheless, those that maintain energy contribute to sustaining the programs of oppression college students navigate.”

    The researchers’ second suggestion for constructing an anti-racist college counseling framework is for educators to decide to culturally responsive approaches that “middle the narratives of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, individuals of shade) youngsters and have fun their cultural variations.”

    Byrd recommends a holistic method in implementing anti-racist frameworks that entails college students’ households and the broader neighborhood. She advises counselors to have ongoing conversations with mother and father on what’s going on in school and to work with invested neighborhood members to create new help programs. In her personal neighborhood, Byrd is practising what she is preaching. She has been working with Seria Chatters, adjunct affiliate instructing professor of training (counseling training) and director of fairness and inclusivity within the State School Space College District, to create affinity teams for Black college students on the elementary and excessive colleges. Affinity teams are based mostly on the idea of “homeplace,” developed by the late feminist creator and activist bell hooks, that’s supposed to be a spot of “joyful resistance” the place Black individuals will be unapologetically Black.

    “They’ve this house the place they’ll come collectively and probably discuss among the stressors they expertise,” mentioned Byrd. “However extra typically they expertise an area the place they’ve pleasure and never have to clarify all the things about their (shared) cultural experiences.”

    The third element of Byrd’s and Mayes’ anti-racist college counseling framework is constructing complete college counseling packages which might be foundationally anti-racist. Many colleges use multi-tiered system of helps (MTSS) to offer focused help to struggling college students. Of their paper, the researchers counsel that faculty counselors can infuse antiracist college counseling practices as part of MTSS packages.

    “This requires vital reflection and dismantling the methods present packages and curriculum middle whiteness and ‘different’ Black and brown college students,” mentioned Byrd.

    As a counselor educator, Byrd is doing her half to make sure that her college students are skilled to implement anti-racist curricula and programming. In simulated classroom actions that she leads in her courses at Penn State, her college students critically study scholar knowledge, comparable to report card grades, to establish racial alternative gaps.

    “If you happen to’re a faculty counselor, how will you collect extra knowledge so you’ll be able to greatest meet the scholars in that house? How will you collaborate with mother and father, lecturers and directors to help your efforts?” Byrd asks.

    Proponents of anti-racist college counseling face plenty of boundaries, Byrd mentioned. Among the many challenges is a resistance to race-based affinity teams throughout the nation. Whereas the American College Counselor Affiliation (ASCA) gives some steerage, there are few state-level laws that help anti-racism and persevering with training on racial points in colleges.

    “Boundaries may embrace, however are usually not restricted to, in case you are not a faculty counselor who continues to discover/problem your individual racist ideologies and never immersed in an expert neighborhood dedicated to combating racial points, you might do hurt making an attempt to implement (affinity teams),” she mentioned.

    Extra analysis is required in anti-racist counseling and the creation of homeplace for Black college students, in line with Byrd. She was just lately awarded a grant from the King Household Influence Endowment to help a challenge, “Kaleidoscopes: Affinity Areas for Black Adolescent Women to Promote Progress, Empowerment and Resistance.” The challenge will create an area the place Black ladies can have interaction in vital conversations, radical therapeutic and empowerment to navigate/fight bias-based bullying. As well as, the American College Counselor Affiliation (ASCA) and the Anti-racist College Counseling Collective housed at American College beneath the management of Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, dean of American College’s College of Training and a former college counselor educator, has developed trainings, webinars and briefs devoted to anti-racism.

    “It is crucial college counseling efforts shifting ahead middle anti-racist follow and maintain programs of oppression accountable,” mentioned Byrd. “In any other case, not a lot might be sustained or efficient.”

    Black youth in racist communities fare worse in psychological well being remedy

    Extra info:
    Renae D. Mayes et al, An Antiracist Framework for Proof-Knowledgeable College Counseling Apply, Skilled College Counseling (2022). DOI: 10.1177/2156759X221086740

    Offered by
    Pennsylvania State College

    Researchers search to advance anti-racist college counseling, provide tips (2022, June 30)
    retrieved 4 July 2022
    from https://phys.org/information/2022-06-advance-anti-racist-school-guidelines.html

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  • Weekly Guidelines for Students in Asynchronous Online Courses

    Weekly Guidelines for Students in Asynchronous Online Courses

    For those of us who continue to teach asynchronous online courses during the 2021-2022 academic year, it’s worth considering how we motivate our students.  Reasonably well-developed and presented online syllabi, assignment prompts, and modules that present course-related materials each week do not necessarily ensure student engagement and success.  Indeed, many undergrads still have difficulty making the leap from traditional face-to-face courses to asynchronous online courses and often need assistance with that transition.

    Without much additional work, however, professors can provide that assistance through concise, single-page reminders via email, text, and shared at the top of each online course module.  These written cues feature helpful prompts and encouraging calls to action, providing yet another way to guide students through their coursework.  Besides helping students navigate asynchronous online courses more easily, weekly guidelines can also help foster engagement, learning, and success.  Here are several reasons we might consider augmenting our online syllabi, assignment packets, and course modules in an asynchronous setting with supplementary communications.

    1) Weekly guidelines provide additional support to students

    Since we are not together with our students in the same room for asynchronous online courses, our students benefit from extra contact.  For those who need a gentle push accomplishing course-related tasks, supporting communications each week help them remember what is expected and encourage them to take action to the end.  Pared down messages provide convenient prompts about work for the week, course projects, and related deadlines.  At the same time, weekly guidelines reduce the potential information overload that can affect students when they wade through full-length online syllabi, assignments packets, or course modules.  Subtle calls to action from us help students keep their asynchronous online coursework in mind and moving forward.

    2) Weekly guidelines summarize information from online course modules

    Routine, supportive communication every seven days can likewise help minimize the potential for student uncertainty, but take care to avoid dense language which can intimidate and discourage some students. Keep weekly guidelines concise instead. Aim to provide straightforward, supportive communication that helps students avoid potential confusion. Tell them, “Here is what you need to read, watch, and discuss for this week. Here is what to submit online. This is the due date.”  As instructors, we should do everything necessary to simplify the process and enable already overtaxed students to move forward with confidence in asynchronous online courses.

    3) Weekly guidelines remind students of course policies and expectations

    Twenty-first century college students have a great deal on their plates.  Besides schoolwork, many juggle jobs, family commitments, and the like.  Covid-19 has added to those stressors, making it even easier to let things slide, especially in asynchronous online courses.  But succinct weekly reminders help our students avoid that slippery slope.  These guidelines sent via email, text, or posted to the LMS can encourage students to remain mindful of key course information and policies while referring them to the syllabus or other relevant course documents should they need to review key information.  Weekly guidelines also provide convenient reminders to students to avoid letting themselves fall through the cracks and invite them to seek help from us should they need it.

    4) Weekly guidelines help foster civil interaction

    While online asynchronous instruction has become more typical since March 2020, we nevertheless still ask our students to make a huge leap into uncharted waters, however, many are still frustrated and fearful, while others may become disrespectful due to the anxieties that loom over them. Weekly guidelines provide a handy space in which to model the civility we hope for from students with our own polite decorum and kindness.  Think of the reminders you compose, send, text, and post each week as teachable moments that can help prepare students for collegial working lives after graduation.  The same is true for any replies to email queries from our students.

    5) Weekly guidelines remind students of the employability skills they cultivate

    Besides specific course subject matter, weekly reminders can be used to remind students of the real-world skills they practice implicitly, which will serve them well after graduation.  In particular, when an online asynchronous course features a strong collaborative element, students have the potential to cultivate collegiality, agency, effective planning and organization, time management, intellectual openness, and mental agility, among many other positive habits.  The opportunity to acquire expertise in these areas will empower students once they enter the globalized digital economy after graduation.  When students are made aware that their activities each week have direct relevance to their lives beyond college, they tend to engage more effectively. This buy-in is critical for student success in an asynchronous online environment.

    6) Weekly guidelines should be concise and formatted consistently

    A brief, routine format is most helpful for weekly reminders shared with students.  Start with the week, semester, and effective dates.  Follow with a friendly greeting and focusing statement.  Include upcoming due date reminders highlighted in yellow or pink.  In two or three short paragraphs, outline tasks for the next seven days.  Besides your instructor email, include helpdesk contact information for students who need technical assistance uploading work to the LMS.  Wind down by reminding students of steps they can take to ensure their own success.  Conclude with a gentle reminder about course policies, expectations, and the real-world skills students cultivate beyond the specific course focus.  Close with good wishes for students’ continued well-being.  Finally, check your guidelines for accessibility compliance before sending via email, text, and posting to your LMS. An example of what a weekly guideline might look like is available here.

    The approach suggested here has evolved since March 2020 to assist students, foster their engagement, and ensure their success in asynchronous online courses.  Based on numerous comments from my recent student course evaluations, this approach has helped many during an otherwise challenging time.  Concise weekly guidelines, when used to compliment online syllabi, assignment packets, and course modules set up in the LMS, can be extremely useful to students when it comes to navigating an asynchronous online course with greater success.  Supplementary communications like these might also benefit students in synchronous online, hybrid, and HyFlex courses, as well as traditional face-to-face courses. 

    Stokes Schwartz is an academic specialist at Michigan State University where he teaches various courses on Scandinavian crime fiction, social problem dramas, horror cinema, contemporary global cinema, and film noir among others through the Center for Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities.  His research interests include how instructors can better integrate Chinese international students into large enrollment courses, how instructors might foster improved student engagement and success within a general education context, and the implicit cultivation of 21st century employability skills among undergraduates through course related activities. 


    Dede, Christopher J. and John Richards, The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy. New York and London: Routledge, 2020.

    Johnson, Joshua.  Interview with Carolyn Lukensmeyer, David Plazas, and Justine Lee.  “Can You Stay Civil by Keeping Quiet?” 1A, National Public Radio, WKAR, November 21, 2017.

    Jones, Brett D.  “Motivating Students to Engage in Learning: The MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation.” International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 21(2):272-285.

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