Volume 3, Issue 1 (2020)

Editor's Note

John B. Craig, Ed.D.

We are pleased to present this year’s edition of the Journal of Access, Retention and Inclusion in Higher Education (JARIHE). This year, we decided to focus on student success broadly defined. That is, we desired to focus the many factors which can impact student success. Traditionally, the literature, rightfully so, focuses on cognitive indicators like grade point averages, graduation and persistence rates and standardized exam scores. While these traditional measures are important, there are other non-cognitive aspects of student success which are important. Kuh et. al. (2011) posit, “Novel definitions are born out of ingenuity and necessity and may require multidimensional measures, given the increased complexity of the postmodern world and the need for institutions to be more inclusive of a much more diverse student population.” As scholars and practitioners, we must be sensitive to this new reality and allow our practice to be duly informed accordingly.

To this end, readers of this special edition will notice a wide array of topics are covered, all with an eye towards improving, access, retention and inclusion for students. Moreover, in this edition, we feature work which looks at cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of student success. Authors discuss topics such as food insecurity, parental involvement, promising practices to improve academic success for Black male students, grit and resilience and college choice for female Somali students studying in the United States of America. The work presented herein is valuable to all practitioners, researchers, policymakers and students and can be applied in a wide variety of higher education institutions, in general, and to myriad academic programs, in particular. The breadth and scope of the work presented in this edition point to the fact that student success is influenced by a plethora of factors. Equipped with this knowledge, practitioners, administrators, researchers and policymakers are better positioned to meet the needs of students. This edition of JARIHE contributes to the growing student success research in ways which advances our understanding and motivates ever the more to provide the types of support to students that helps them meet their goals of earning college degrees.

Finally, the work we present in this edition is not exhaustive and as scholars, we recognize the need for ongoing research, practice and dialogue. We encourage readers of this edition to read critically and apply, where appropriate what is most useful. Additionally, we hope this work inspires further exploration into these and other areas of access, retention and inclusion in the higher education arena. As the times continue to change, colleges and universities must be willing to change in ways which responds to and even anticipates students’ ever-changing needs. Colleges and universities must be prepared to holistically educate students who are coming from all walks of life and have many backgrounds. To meet this challenge consistently, it is imperative that all of us work to tear down barriers and build new bridges, such that all students succeed.

Kuh, George D., Kinzie, Jillian., Buckley, Jennifer A., Bridges, Brian K & Hayek, John C. (2011). Piecing Together the Student Success Puzzle: Research, Propositions, and Recommendations: ASHE Higher Education Report. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.



How Grit and Resilience Predict Successful Academic Performance
Robin G. Yaure, Elise Murowchick, Jacqueline E. Schwab, and Lauren Jacobson-McConnell


Francis Atuahene, Ph.D.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Chuck Baker, Ph.D.
Delaware County Community College

Marie Bunner, Ed.D.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Michael Burns, Ph.D.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Elizabeth McCloud
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

Ilknur Sancak-Marusa
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Calley Stevens Taylor, Ph.D.
Cedar Crest College

Ontario Wooden, Ph.D.
North Carolina Central University

Juanita Wooten, Ed.D.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania


Tabetha Adkins, Ph.D.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Ann L. Colgan, Ed.D.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Brenda Sanders Dede, Ed.D.
Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Emerita

Tiffany Jones, Ed.D.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Katherine Norris, Ed.D.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania