Getting into college can be hard enough, but once students get there many discover that what they don’t know about college can be even harder.
Researchers call this knowledge about how college works the “hidden curriculum,” and LAist recently gave several examples:’
Tatum Tricarico didn’t know she’d need to recruit a professor to help her get the accommodations she needed as a functionally blind student.
Sammie Zenoz didn’t know she could get scholarships that would make it possible for her to attend her dream school.
Yvonne Chamberlain Marquez thought her housing was guaranteed, only to find out too late that having a daughter disqualified her.
The “hidden curriculum” can be one of the reasons why staying in college can be even harder than getting there. It’s also one of the reasons why every student at Calbright has a team that is dedicated to providing personal support. We use technology to make our college more connected, not less.
Our student support specialists get to know our students, work with them, and help develop a plan to support their college experience and their career goals. That means students who don’t know they’re eligible for disability accomodations can still get them, like Leila, because we’ll talk with you.
“I didn’t even think that I could get disability accommodations due to my permanent disability, but my Calbright support team knew I could and helped guide me through the process, which is so helpful,” she said. “They’re always there, always looking out for us.”
Students who don’t know how to write a resume for the new job they want, or network in the industry they’re moving into, can get help from our career services counselors, like Michael did.
“Career Services connected me with so many new people who shared their insight on ways to navigate the path toward my goals, and how to better understand what I truly want out of a new career,” he said. “After we connected I thought ‘Oh, gosh, thank goodness I did this!’”
At Calbright, there is no hidden curriculum. You don’t need to be an expert in “how college works” to succeed here. For us, accessibility means getting all the obstacles out of your way, especially the hidden ones, so that our students can focus on what they’re here for: getting an education that will prepare them for a better job or new career.
They’re not alone: our staff and faculty are with them every step of the way.
Eliminating the “hidden curriculum” is one way we’re making college accessible to everyone.