Challenges and Opportunities for the Future of College Students

The purpose of this webinar is to explore the diverse perspectives that a variety of higher education stakeholders have on the college student by engaging with materials from Multiple Perspectives on College Students: Needs, Challenges, and Opportunities. In the text, contributors unpack who the college student is and why multiple people have their own ideas of student needs. We will engage with real stakeholder voices so that attendees can get a sense of the variety of perspectives present in conversations and decision-making around college students and higher education.

Commentary is also given from higher education scholars in order to assist participants in making sense of these varying perspectives; especially given that while all stakeholders ideas and insights are valid, they are likely not all equally informed or recognized equally across decision-making bodies or in relation to the theories that underpin higher education and student development.

Discussions in this session will focus on the data related to college student identities and attendance patterns along with theoretical understandings of the diversity within higher education. Then, a thorough exploration of stakeholder opinions on college students and higher education will help attendees understand the variety of lenses and motivations present in conversations around higher education, as well as a look at whose voices are most loud in such dialogues.

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About the Presenter

Needham Yancey Gulley (he/him/his) is an associate professor and program director in the Higher Education Student Affairs program at Western Carolina University. Dr. Gulley has a long history of advocating for social justice within educational contexts through his scholarship, teaching, publications, presentations, trainings, and volunteer endeavors. Past research has not only contributed to the scholarly conversation in higher education student affairs but has led to changes in the academy, including the opening of the LGBT Resource Center at North Carolina State University.

He has previously published an edited book titled Using the CAS Professional Standards: Diverse Examples of Practice. His second book, Multiple Perspectives on College Students: Needs, Challenges, and Opportunities, will be published in August 2022. Throughout his career his service has been vast, including leadership positions in ACPA College Student Educators International; the same organization inducted him as a Diamond Honoree in 2019. He also leads several diversity initiatives at Western Carolina University.

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