Campus of Opportunity: A Qualitative Analysis of Homeless Students in Community College

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Community College Review, ISSN: 0091-5521, Vol: 45, Issue: 3, Page: 190-214

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Jarrett T. Gupton
SAGE Publications
Social Sciences
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article description
Objective: Community colleges are gateways of access to higher education for many underrepresented students. One group that has received little attention in the community college research literature is homeless youth. The objective of this research is to address the following research questions: (a) What might be learned from the narratives of homeless youth and their experiences in postsecondary education? and (b) How might community colleges promote interpersonal and institutional resilience for homeless students? Method: Utilizing qualitative research techniques, this article reviews the experiences’ of homeless youth attending community college and explores the ways in which community colleges might serve as sites for fostering resilience and stability in the lives of homeless students. Results: The results of this empirical work suggest that although homeless students do benefit from enrolling in community college, some of the benefits are not salient to them and they are unable to take full advantage of institutional resources. Contributions: The findings from this study contribute to the literature on low-income students’ experiences in community college and add the voices and experiences of homeless youth.