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Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction

High Impact of [Whiteness] on Trans* Students in Postsecondary Education

By Dafina-Lazarus Stewart and Z. Nicolazzo, 2018

This article asserts whiteness as an ideology that reaches beyond race/racism to shape and reproduce other interlocking oppressive systems. In higher education, this notion of whiteness permeates commonly celebrated “high impact practices” (HIPs) to undermine the success of trans* students in US postsecondary education. Through an intersectional approach, we illustrate how HIPs lead to jeopardizing trans* students’ success in higher education and advance a different approach that we have coined “trickle up high impact practices” (TUHIPs). TUHIPs prioritize the needs of those students who are most vulnerable and incorporate an acknowledgement of the oppressive contexts within which students with multiple minoritized identities must navigate higher education. We discuss the implications of this approach and offer five recommendations to move higher education institutions toward policies, practices, and systems that support the college success of trans* students. Descriptors: College Students, Whites, Racial Bias, Higher Education, Sexual Identity, Educational Practices, Social Bias, College Role, Ideology, Social Justice, Educational Environment, Educational Policy, Minority Group Students

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