Survey: Most Colleges Students Feel “Seen”
Most colleges students say they feel “seen” by faculty, in terms of understanding their personal challenges due to race, gender identity, socioeconomic class, or childhood experiences.
The latest Student Voice survey from Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse, presented by Kaplan, found that nearly two-thirds of 2,003 students surveyed reported feeling at least somewhat seen by professors. When asked about whether they feel seen by student services office employees, 56% agreed. Only 43% said they feel seen by university administrators, such as the president, provost, or dean.
BLACK AND ASIAN AMERICAN STUDENTS LESS LIKELY TO FEEL SEEN
Amongst respondents, Black and Asian American students were less likely to feel seen by professors. University of Utah junior Victoria Nguyen, whose parents are Vietnamese refugees, tells Inside Higher Ed that the term “model minority” is a stereotype that only feeds to the idea behind why “higher ed will not care about Asian American representation … My hard work doesn’t stem from my ethnicity but from me being a person.”
Estela Mara Bensimon, a university professor emerita and founder of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, says that it’s critical for administrators and faculty to ask themselves: “Who are we serving well, and who is not benefiting from our practices?”
“I’m talking about that from a racial equity perspective,” Bensimon says. “No matter what, institutions of higher education are underperforming for Black, Latinx and Indigenous students in particular.”
A BIG CHALLENGE: ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
The Student Voice survey also found anxiety and depression to be a big challenge for students in the past four months. Two-thirds of respondents judge the issue as a “fair amount,” while one-third report the issue as a “great deal.”
Financial difficulty is another issue that some college students deal with greatly. One in four of survey respondents say they have struggled with financial insecurity a great deal recently and are very worried about their family’s finances.