Professionals from the Poor and Working Class

Are you a graduate student, student affairs professional, or faculty member from a working class, blue collar, and/or lower socioeconomic background?  Are you interested in increasing conversations about class and sharing class navigation techniques – not just for the students with whom you work but also for your own career development? 

The Professionals from the Poor and Working Class group within NASPA’s Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education (SCIHE) Knowledge Community strives to increase the conversation and contribution around:

· defining class, noticing whose class/capital matters most in different higher education settings

· (re)defining professionalism and socialization in student affairs, whether for students or for professionals

· navigating class straddling issues in higher education (e.g., as job searching or salary negotiation discussions often reinforce professional/ruling class norms) or issues in social, family, or personal lives (e.g., cross-class relationships)

· disrupting deficit ideologies and promote Yosso’s community cultural wealth model, to highlight the strengths provided by our class backgrounds

· creating community for those from working class, blue collar, and/or lower income backgrounds…particularly if they sense their colleagues and/or institutions do not share that experience

· affirming intersections with race/ethnicity, gender identity or expression, ability, sexual orientation, immigration status, etc. (e.g., Race Forward’s project on “Clocking In,” a recent faculty narrative in the Chronicle, another piece re: the myth of gay affluence in the Atlantic, another piece on how class does not trump race)

Regardless of current class identities (attributed, claimed, or desired), student affairs practitioners from working class, blue collar, or lower income backgrounds may have similar experiences in the student affairs profession to what they did while in college.  The purpose of this group is to engage in conversations about how class identities shape our practice, always mindful of how other identities also impact our class experiences.


How to Get Involved

We welcome anyone who would like to contribute to this group and increase the conversation on class identity within the profession.  The work of the group is organized into three areas:

1.     Research and Conference Program Development (coordinated by Sonja)

2.     Community and Professional Development (coordinated by Heather)

3.     Blog and Podcast Development (coordinated by Heather)

Please contact the appropriate coordinator(s) for your areas of interest. 

We also encourage new ideas for how this group can contribute to the field; so please also feel free to email us with new ideas or programs that you believe would increase the conversation.