- Editor’s Note
It is not our common practice to publish “special issues” of the Journal of College Student Development, as our first commitment is to disseminating authors’ accepted manuscripts in a timely and efficient manner. The articles included for this issue were guided through the manuscript review and revision process independently and queued for publication by our previous Senior Editor, Dr. John Braxton and his team of associate editors. However, as our Senior Editor, Dr. Debora Liddell, reviewed the manuscripts being queued for this September 2016 issue, she recognized that the domestic feature articles had a common focus: racially and ethnically minoritized students in US higher education. Even Alazzi and Al-Jarrah (International Research) report their findings related to Southeast Asian students who were ethnic and national minorities in their Jordanian universities. Given my established focus on issues of race and ethnicity in higher education, it was my pleasure to accept Dr. Liddell’s invitation to pen the Editor’s Note to introduce this issue.
These six feature articles present an opportunity to consider five key issues and questions related to the study of racially and ethnically minoritized students in postsecondary educational institutions:
1. the continued need to attend to issues of race and ethnicity in higher education;
2. the continued greater use of qualitative methodologies to study racially and ethnically minoritized populations in higher education;
3. the place for quantitative methodologies and critical and poststructural research paradigms in the study of racially and ethnically minoritized populations in higher education;
4. the relevance and utility of appreciative approaches for racially and ethnically minoritized populations;
5. the relative paucity of studies focused on Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) students in US higher education.
The Pervasiveness of Race and Ethnicity
As noted by higher education historian, Craig Steven Wilder (2013), issues of race and colonialism have dogged colleges and universities in the US since their inception in 1636. More and more institutions have been forced by student activists in recent months to confront and consider the consequences of their ties to the Transatlantic Slave Trade, US colonialism, and the persistent effects of institutionalized racism (Wong & Green, 2016). However, institutional racism and White supremacy are not past history, but rather are “brick walls” (Ahmed, 2012) that continue to bruise and (mis)shape students’ current experiences. Moreover, higher education is becomingly increasingly global. Increased promotion of international study abroad, aggressive recruiting [End Page 629] of international students, and the long-term effects of current migration by refugees the world over will only contribute to greater racial and ethnic heterogeneity in postsecondary and tertiary institutions around the world. Therefore, the institutional climate, policies, and practices that press upon these students will gain in importance, not decrease.
Far from anticipating a time where race and ethnicity will be allowed to fall off our radar, we are witnessing its continued relevance. More studies that center a racial and ethnic analysis are needed, not less. In addition, empirical study of what race and ethnicity mean to students and how they articulate these concepts is important. This is vital across group identities, but perhaps even more pressing for multiracial students in order to combat monoracist conceptions of race and ethnicity. Museus, Lambe, Yee, and Robinson’s article in this issue continues the push forward in this arena. Contrary to transhistorical notions that race has always existed, we must treat it as ever-evolving, dynamic, and reflective of specific environments, chronologies, and communities (Stewart, 2016).
Continued Relevance of Qualitative Methodologies
As noted by Torres, Jones, and Renn (2009) in the JCSD Golden Anniversary issue (vol. 50, no. 6), the foregrounding of marginalized populations has led to increased reliance on new theoretical approaches as well as qualitative methodologies for understanding their identity development and their experiences on campus. The feature articles in this issue also display this heavy leaning toward methodologies, such as phenomenology (Hannon, Woodside, Pollard, & Roman, this issue) and data collection methods involving individual and focus group interviews (Museus, Lambe Sariñana, Yee, & Robinson, this issue). Muñoz’s contribution also demonstrates the utility of critical race theory and particularly LatCrit as appropriate theoretical perspectives through which scholars can interpret...