Two-Year College Students’ Perspective on Equity and Inclusion Supports and Barriers


Brenda Refaei
Ruth Benander
Drew Shade
Amber Peplow
Laurie Bauer
Mwangi Chege
Neely McLaughlin
Sana Clason


Improving equity and inclusion in our classrooms, whether in-person or online, is a crucial lens for course design. We surveyed 308 students in our courses and then had listening oriented focus groups with 103 students at our college. Students reported that out-of-class challenges impeded them most, including economic insecurity, time management, and transportation problems.  In-class elements that were most challenging included online learning and reading. In-class elements that students reported as supports to learning included active learning, links to resources, and office hours. We recommend providing institutional resources for financial support in course materials, using more online resources in place of textbooks, providing support for how and why to complete readings, and creating transparent expectations for assignments. Finally, we recommend surveying and listening to the students in classes and programs to get a finer grained understanding of the student experience of barriers and supports in specific classes.