- Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs by Fred A. Bonner, II et al.
The term Millennial is often used to describe the cohort born in the early 1980s to late 1990s, [End Page 118] many of whom entered college following the year 2000. As numerous authors in Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs point out, the very attempt to use a single term to capture an entire generation of students is inherently inadequate, given the vast diversity of the student population. Furthermore, the images and trends evoked by the Millennial label can fall short in showcasing the range of experiences between and within key student sub-populations. This edited volume seeks to remedy some of these issues by providing a more complex and nuanced depiction of the diversity of the Millennial generation.
In chapter 1, Dungy discusses assumptions about Millennials, noting that the term had little resonance for the Black student leaders that she has encountered in recent years. She also notes the danger of assuming that all Millennials have easy access to technology and are Internet-savvy. She also observes the extensive differences within students' experiences with diversity, cautioning readers that students of color themselves have varying levels of exposure to and engagement with diversity. Chapters 2 and 3 provide two perspectives on Black Millennial students. Strayhorn discusses broad-scale trends from national databases to document how recent cohorts of Black students differ from earlier generations. He notes that although overall the Millennial generation is characterized by their booming size—the literal increase in students attending college—that rates of Black male college attendance have not kept pace. Also of concern is that college attendance for lower and middle-class Black students continues to lag behind their wealthier counterparts. The following chapter by Guyton and Howard-Hamilton zooms into the story of an individual whose experiences are not necessarily reflected in the statistics. Guyton provides a first-person account of his experience as a Black student who grew up in a rural community in the South, offering rich insight into how despite their commonalities, Millennials also defy simplistic categorization.
Chapters 4 and 5, written by Chang and Museus, respectively, address facets of experiences related to Asian American and Pacific Islander Millennials, although the chapters focus more on Asian American rather than Pacific Islander students. A common theme in both chapters is the salience of technology to Asian American Millennials, given that Asian Americans have higher rates of technology usage than other groups. One fascinating trend is the use of technology to protest acts of racism, providing a new venue for mobilization, representation, and collective action.
In chapter 6, Saenz, Gonzalez, and Hurtado use data from the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute's Cooperative Institutional Research Program to compare cohorts of Latino/a Millennials over the generations. The chapter is full of rich data on a wide array of student experiences. Among other trends, they report that a growing percentage of Latino/a Millennials come from families that have experienced divorce or separation, and that the gender gap between Latino and Latina Millennials continues to widen. In the next chapter, Ortiz and Pichardo-Diaz use Howe and Strauss's (2000) landmark text on Millennials to contextualize the experience of Latino/a Millennials. They note important points of contrast between existing research on Latino/a students and the work of Howe and Strauss, such as differences in socioeconomic status and the role of the family.
Brayboy and Castagno address Indigenous Millennial students in chapter 8, highlighting the unique role of the federal government in shaping indigenous education, a unique distinction for Native American and Alaska Native students. They note the need to address structural barriers which limit opportunity for [End Page 119] Indigenous students. In chapter 9, Waterman focuses specifically on Native American Millennial students. She addresses the unique historical and societal contexts that shape this group, from the historical legacy of...