Revisiting the Measures of Social and Cultural Capital among Community College Students

Speaker Information:

Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Soko Starobin, Iowa State University
Yu Chen, Iowa State University
Dimpal Jain, California State University, Northridge
Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux, University of Southern California
Audrey Peek, George Washington University
J. Luke Wood, San Diego State University
Xueli Wang, University of Wisconsin—Madison

Social and cultural capital has been examined as a critical factor that influences students’ educational aspiration and academic outcomes in higher education studies. In many studies, social and cultural capital was measured through family-related items such as parent-child interaction, numbers of siblings, parents’ expectation, cultural wealth in the family, etc. Utilizing these measures, previous literature demonstrated how social and cultural capital obtained from home might affect students’ college attendance aspiration and behavior. This approach, however, may not suit community college students. The diversified student body in community colleges highlighted the unique characteristics for first generation students, adult learners, non-native speakers, underrepresented minority students, and underprepared college students. This interactive symposium aims at 1) discuss the current research studies on community college students’ social and cultural capital; 2) highlight theoretical and methodological issues regarding defining and measuring social and cultural capital for community college students; and 3) engage audience to a critical dialogue directing to the new phase of studying social and cultural capital’s impact on community college students’ success.


Association for the Study of Higher Education