Title: Addressing Inequality in Higher Education: Exploring the Role of Social and Cultural Capital, Disability, and Socioeconomic Status

Just make sure you answer all
parts of the questions thoroughly.  In each question I
mention specific readings or weekly PowerPoints. You should make sure to use ALL these sources in
your answer. 
QUESTION 1. Explain the concepts of social and cultural capital and discuss how they can help firstgeneration college students succeed, using the reading by McCallen and Johnson. Then describe some of
the negative consequences of upward mobility, as discussed in the course slides and in the readings
(especially Riggs and Gray/Johnson/Kish-Gephart and Tilton).
Gray, Barbara, Tiffany Johnson, Jennifer Kish-Gephart, and Jacqueline Tilton. 2018. “Identity Work by
First-Generation College Students to Counteract Class-Based Microaggressions.” Organization Studies
39: 1227-1250.
McCallen, Leigh S., and Helen L. Johnson. 2020. “The Role of Institutional Agents in Promoting Higher
Education Success Among First-Generation College Students at a Public Urban University.” Journal of
Diversity in Higher Education 13: 320-332. 
Riggs, Liz. 2014. “What It’s Like to Be the First Person in Your Family to Go to College.” The Atlantic
January 13, 2014.   
Slides from May 7: College and Upward Mobility   
QUESTION 3. We discussed disability and inequality in schools on April 2. Based on that day’s
readings and PowerPoints, write an essay in which you discuss racial differences in placement
in special education. Make sure to discuss the conflicting findings about overrepresentation and state
whether and why you think racial overrepresentation is or is not happening in special education. Finally,
review the suggestions that are on pages 4-5 in Significant Disproportionality in Special Education: The
Role of Income (under “Policy and Practice Considerations”) and discuss which one you think is the
most important, and why.   
Farkas, George, and Paul L. Morgan. 2018. “Risk and Race in Measuring Special Education Need.”
Contexts 17: 72-74. 
Stiefel, Lianna, Menbere Shiferaw, Amy Ellen Schwartz, and Michael Gottfried. 2017. “Who
Feels Included in School? Examining Feelings of Inclusion Among Students with Disabilities.”
Educational Researcher 47: 105-120. 
“Students with Disabilities.” The Condition of Education 2021. 
National Center for Learning Disabilities. 2020. Significant Disproportionality in Special Education:
The Role of Income.   
April 2 PowerPoints: Students with Disabilities  
QUESTION 4: A) Discuss how socioeconomic status is related to enrolling in college and experiences
in college. B) Then, discuss the features of CUNY’s ASAP program, how they are associated with
students’ success, and how the features contrast with the features of for-profit trade schools as described
by Holland and DeLuca.   
Materials:  Holland, Megan M., and Stefanie DeLuca. 2016. “‘‘Why Wait Years to Become Something?’’ Lowincome African American Youth and the Costly Career Search in For-profit Trade Schools.” Sociology
of Education 89: 261-278. 
Jack, Anthony Abraham. 2019. “I Was a Low-Income College Student. Classes Weren’t the Hard Part.”
The New York Times.  
Strumbos, Diana, Donna Linderman, and Carson C. Hicks. 2018. “Postsecondary Pathways Out of
Poverty: City University of New York Accelerated Study in Associate Programs and the Case for
National Policy.” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 4: 100–17.   
April 16 PowerPoints: CUNY and Inequality   

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