Dr. Roger Schieferecke Mr. Isaac Ortega • • • • • • • • Activity #1 (10 minutes) Discuss Mattering Discuss Marginalization Retention and Persistence Dissertation Research Activity #2 (15 minutes) Implications for Practice Save the World Think of a time when you felt as if you really mattered; when who you were or what you did was valued. Please share within your group: Cues: What in the interaction let you know you were being valued? Feelings: How did you feel as a result of this interaction? Effects: How did this experience affect your future experiences with that person or within that group? Mattering is the belief or perception, right or wrong, of being important to somebody or something. -Nancy Schlossberg Attention – the feeling that one commands the interest of another Importance – the belief that someone else cares about what we think or do Ego-Extension – the belief that others will be proud of our accomplishments or saddened by our failures Dependence – the belief that others “need” us. Appreciation – the belief that our efforts are appreciated. According to Schlossberg, Mattering is a Motive and Does Determine Behavior. • • • • The concept of marginalization is directly linked to the concept of mattering. Whereas mattering has been shown to mean that people feel as if they belong and are significant to others, marginality refers to the opposite perceptions. Individuals or groups who are marginalized have the perception that they do not belong or fit in (Schlossberg, 1989), are not significant to others, and are not needed by others (Rosenberg & McCullough, 1981). Being marginalized constitutes being defined as “other” by the dominant group, which within the social hierarchy places an individual into the category of lower status (Migliaccio, 2001). Specifically, Cheng (1999) defined marginalization as peripheral or disadvantaged unequal membership. Individuals who perceive their marginalized status may experience feelings of irritability and unhealthy levels of self-consciousness when encountering new environments or taking on new roles and their accompanying expectations (Schlossberg, 1989). Discussion Why should you care about mattering and marginalization? Perceptions of Mattering equals success: A sense of mattering motivates students to learn and increases the likelihood that they will persist and develop (Schlossberg et al., 1989). ***Previous studies have found that the most powerful predictor of mattering, for college students, is support from friends (Dixon et al., 2007; Harris & Harper, 2008)*** • Most recent data from ACT revealed the retention rate (freshman that returned for their sophomore year) for public four-year colleges was 64.9% • Persistence (graduation w/in 5 years) rate for students at a public four-year college was 36% 2013 ACT Data: https://www.noellevitz.com/papers-research-higher-education/student-retention-white-papers-and-trendreports/act-collegiate-retention-persistence-rates Dissertation Research Phenomenological Study • • • • What experiences with college have made you feel as if you mattered? What experiences with college have made you feel marginalized? What internal factors (i.e., gender, attitudes, ethnicity) influence your engagement with higher education? What external factors (such as campus policies, institutional agents, and peers) influence your engagement with higher education? 6 Themes Emerged Praise: (Mattering) • Received praise in classroom, professors words, written feedback. • From community members, mentors, peers. • Perceived they mattered when profs simply acknowledged them – simple comments or notes. “Any time you get praise in class, you realize they are taking notice of me; I must be doing something really good. I must matter.” The Unseen: (Marginalization) • Students experienced marginalization when feeling insignificant or invisible. • Large lecture-style classes – uncomfortable asking questions. • No connection to the class or instructor • Described feelings of invisibility when faculty, staff, and peers did not acknowledge their presence. Locked in dorm room. “I’ve been to parties where I feel marginalized. It’s as if I’m a foreigner in their native land. If I go over to socialize with someone, I don’t often get a good response back ‘cause I’m not the alcoholic clown, I’m not the popular kid that everyone knows, I’m not the big man on campus…” 6 Themes Emerged Investing in Me: (Mattering) • The belief that one is of value to others. • Relationships w/ faculty, advisors, mentors, peers • Felt valued when others invested in their success by spending time, energy and resources on them – Guidance, attention, and encouragement. “She makes me believe that she really cared about me as a person.” Insignificant: (Marginalization) • Interactions with faculty highlighted this theme. Marginalization feelings occurred with unhelpful faculty. Students were verbally pushed out of the door. • “Hurry up and ask your question. I have to get going.” “I talked about it in lecture already.” “[Faculty] acted like they are in a big hurry.” • Being a part of a student organization and not having your voice heard. 6 Themes Emerged Sense of Community: (Mattering) • Perceptions of mattering occurred by being part of a team, group, or organization • SGA, fraternities, cultural associations, honors program, athletics. • Levels of participation varied, but positive experiences through being part of a community were universal. “When I joined the Greek system, I felt like I was part of something bigger, and I felt as if I mattered.” The Outsider: (Marginalization) • Students experienced marginalization when they did not fit in with their surroundings. • Classrooms, student organizations, social settings. • Freshman reported having perceptions of not fitting in when first coming to campus and not being prepared for the competitive environment. One student described his attempt at getting involved by attending a meeting: “[I] had the feeling others were saying, ‘What are you doing here? You don’t belong here.You’re some little freshman…’ So I quit trying.” Activity Each group will take one of the themes and create a skit, rap, or song that follows the corresponding prompt. Praise – Present different ways that you can show praise to the students that you mentor/lead. The unseen – A student goes to an organization’s weekly meeting but doesn’t really feel like a part of it because it is so big. Interpret this scenario really focusing on the student’s feelings as they goes through this. Investing in me – You have a resident who wants to achieve a certain goal.What does it look like to invest time, energy and resources into them? Insignificant – An advisor or mentor is so busy that when a student goes to see them the meetings feel rushed and the advisor seemed distracted. Create a representation of this. Sense of Community – Present the growth of a student from an incoming freshman to an active member of an organization. Being the Outsider – A member of a group doesn’t feel understood because they are of a different race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. etc. Create a scenario where this is revealed. Implications for Practice Perceptions of mattering and marginalization influence the success of students during their collegiate years. Based on the experiences of mattering and marginalization of students in this study, institutions may want to consider the following practices to increase retention of students: • Student affairs professionals should implement mattering practices in their one-on-one relationships with students. Asking students what they want out of their college experience, their career goals, and their personal goals creates mattering. • Student affairs professionals should work collaboratively with their academic colleagues to foster opportunities for students and faculty members to interact outside the classroom, such as learning communities, intramural sports activities, and social events. • Students should be encouraged to be proactive in creating their own sense of mattering. The data revealed powerful perceptions of mattering in social and academic organizations. Institutions should support the growth of organizations and actively encourage the involvement of students in these organizations. References Cheng, C. (1999). Marginalized masculinities and hegemonic masculinity: An introduction. Journal of Men’s Studies, 7(3), 295. Dixon Rayle, A., & Chung K.Y. (2007). Revisiting first-year college students’ mattering: Social support, academic stress, and the mattering experience. Journal of College Student Retention, 9(1), 21–37. Harris, III, F., & Harper, S. R. (2008). Masculinities go to community college: Understanding male identity socialization and gender role conflict. New Directions for Community Colleges, 142, 25–35. Migliaccio, T. A. (2001). Marginalizing the battered male. Journal of Men’s Studies, 9(2), 205–226. Reese, V. L., & Dunn, R. (2007). Learning-style preferences of a diverse freshmen population in a large, private, metropolitan university by gender and GPA. Journal of College Student Retention, 9(1), 95–112. Rosenberg, M., & McCullough, B. C. (1981). Mattering: Inferred significance and mental health among adolescents. Research in Community Health, 2, 163–182. Schlossberg, N. K. (1989). Marginality and mattering: Key issues in building community. In D.C. Roberts (Ed.), Designing campus activities to foster a sense of community (pp. 5–15). New Directions for Student Services, no. 48. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.