Jenny McGill Lindsey Huang Erin Davis David Humphrey Jenny Pak Andi Thacker Joshua Tom


During an era of declining enrollment and increasing operational costs, schools affiliated with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) are challenged to remain vigilant in addressing the particular needs of racial ethnic minority (REM) students. Upon review of the literature on REM and first-generation students, that REM students continue to be invisible because of structural institutional neglect is notable. Yet the Christian scriptures call for the spiritual practice of seeing the other, a theme explored here through an integrative discussion. The practical strategy of life coaching is then suggested as one way to aid these students in their academic journey, because it improves the student’s sense of belonging, self-efficacy, and ultimately, their success. Christian colleges and universities are urged to seriously consider implementing life coaching in order to serve students of color better.



student coaching, student retention, a sense of belonging, people of color, first-generation students, first-generation learners, minority students

Bellman, Scott, Sheryl Burgstahler, and Penny Hinke. 2015. “Academic Coaching: Outcomes from a Pilot Group of Postsecondary STEM Students with Disabilities.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 28(1):103–108.

Bettinger, Eric and Rachel Baker. 2011. “The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring.” Retrieved February 9, 2018 (https://core.ac.uk/download/files/153/6529168.pdf).

Burks, Stephen A. and Gregory T. Barrett. 2009. “Student Characteristics and Activity Choices of College Freshmen and Their Intent to Persist in Religiously Affiliated Institutions.” Christian Higher Education 8(5):351–392.

Cabral, Raquel R. and Timothy B. Smith. 2011. “Racial/Ethnic Matching of Clients and Therapists in Mental Health Services: A Meta-Analytic Review of Preferences, Perceptions, and Outcomes.” Journal of Counseling Psychology 58(4):537–554.

Carroll Rodas, M. Daniel. 2013. Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press.

Carter, J. Kameron. 2008. Race: A Theological Account. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Case, Kimberly F. and Rebecca Hernandez. 2013. “‘But Still, I’m Latino and I’m proud’: Ethnic Identity Exploration in the Context of a Collegiate Cohort Program.” Christian Higher Education 12(1-2):74–92.

Castagno, Angelina E. 2008. “‘I Don't Want to Hear That!’: Legitimating Whiteness Through Silence in Schools.” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 39(3):314–333.

CCCU. (2018). "Diversity and Inclusion Sessions Offered at the CCCU International Forum." Retrieved February 14, 2018 (https://www.cccu.org/forum/breakoutsessions/#diversity).
CCCU 2009 Noel-Levitz Market Research Executive Summary. 2010. Retrieved February 14, 2018 (https://www.ruffalonl.com/documents/shared/Papers_and_Research/2009/ExecutiveS ummaryCCCU09.pdf).

Cole, Elizabeth R. and Kimberly R. Jacob Arriola. 2007. “Black Students on White Campuses: Toward a Two-Dimensional Model of Black Acculturation.” Journal of Black Psychology 33(4):379–403.

Collier, Peter J. and David L. Morgan. 2008. “‘Is That Paper Really Due Today?’: Differences in First-Generation and Traditional College Students’ Understandings of Faculty Expectations.” Higher Education 55(4):425–446.

Collier-Goubil, Deshonna. 2015. “Ain't I a Student? Thinking through Spaces for Black Female College Students.” in Black Scholars in White Space: New Vistas in African American Studies from the Christian Academy, edited by A. B. Bradley.

Confer, Christopher and Ketevan Mamiseishvili. 2012. “College Choice of Minority Students Admitted to Institutions in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.” Journal of College Admission 217:4-15.

Covarrubias, Rebecca and Stephanie A. Fryberg. 2015. “Movin’on up (to College): FirstGeneration College Students’ Experiences with Family Achievement Guilt.” Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 21(3):420-29.

Dahlvig, Jolyn. 2010. “Mentoring of African American Students at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI).” Christian Higher Education 9(5):369-95.

David, Oana A. and Oana Cobeanu. 2016. “Evidence-Based Training in Cognitive-Behavioural Coaching: Can Personal Development Bring Less Distress and Better Performance?” British Journal of Guidance & Counselling 44(1):12-25.

Dowd, Alicia C., Jenny H. Pak and Estela Mara Bensimon. 2013. “The Role of Institutional Agents in Promoting Transfer Access.” Education Policy Analysis Archives 21(15):1-39.

Ecklund, Kathryn. 2013. “First-Generation Social and Ethnic Minority Students in Christian Universities: Student Recommendations for Successful Support of Diverse Students.” Christian Higher Education 12(3):159-80.

Ellison, Ralph. 1952. Invisible Man. New York: New American Library.

Emerson, Michael O. and Christian Smith. 2001. Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Freire, Paulo. 1996. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Penguin Books.

Freire, Paulo. 2000. Cultural Action for Freedom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Review.

Gandara, Patricia. 2002. “Meeting Common Goals.” Pp. 81-103 in Increasing Access to College: Extending Possibilities for All Students, edited by W. G. Tierney and L. S. Hagedorn. Albany: State University New York Press.

Gessnitzer, Sina, Eva-Maria Schulte, and Simone Kauffeld.
2016. “‘I Am Going to Succeed’”: The Power of Self-Efficient Language in Coaching and How Coaches Can Use It.” Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research 68(4):294–312.

Gloria, Alberta M. and Jeanett Castellanos. 2012. “Desafíos y Bendiciones: A Multiperspective Examination of the Educational Experiences and Coping Responses of First-Generation College Latina Students.” Journal of Hispanic Higher Education 11(1):82–99.

Haralu, Megolazo. 2005. Minority Student Perception of Diversity Initiatives in a Christian Liberal Arts College (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Thesis Global database. (UMI No. 3186975)

Harper, Shaun R. and Silvia Hurtado. 2007. “Nine Themes in Campus Racial Climates and Implications for Institutional Transformation.” New Directions for Student Services 2007(120):7–24.

Hausmann, Leslie. R., Janet Ward Schofield, and Rochelle L. Woods. 2007. “Sense of Belonging as a Predictor of Intentions to Persist among African American and White First-Year College Students.” Research in Higher Education 48(7):803–839.

Holmes, Arthur F. 1987. The Idea of a Christian College. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. Holy Bible, New International Version. 1984. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Ishitani, Terry T. 2006. “Studying Attrition and Degree Completion Behavior Among FirstGeneration College Students in the United States.” Journal of Higher Education 77(5):861–885.

Jennings, William. J. 2014. “The Change We Need: Race and Ethnicity in Theological Education.” Theological Education 49(1):35-42.

Joiner Jr., Thomas E. and Rheeda L.Walker. 2002. “Construct Validity of a Measure of Acculturative Stress in African Americans.” Psychological Assessment 14(4):462–466.

Jordan, Stefanie, Sina Gessnitzer and Simone Kauffeld. 2016. “Effects of a Group Coaching for the Vocational Orientation of Secondary School Pupils.” Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice 9(2):143–157.

Kearney, Lisa K., Matthew Draper and Augustine Barón. 2005. “Counseling Utilization by Ethnic Minority College Students.” Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 11(3):272– 285.

Kimsey-House, Henry, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl and Laura Whitworth. 2011. CoActive Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives. Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Lefdahl-Davis, Erin M., Levi Huffman, Jacqueline Stancil and Alexandra Alayan. 2017. “The Impact of Life Coaching on Undergraduate Students: A Multiyear Analysis of Coaching Outcomes.” Manuscript submitted for publication.

Longman, K. Ed. 2017. Diversity Matters: Race, Ethnicity, and the Future of Christian Higher Education. Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press.

McIntosh, Eric James. Thriving in College: The Role of Spirituality and Psychological Sense of Community in Students of Color. (Doctoral dissertation) Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database. (UMI No. 3521901)

Menjares, Pete C. 2016. “Diversity and Inclusion: Where We Are and What We Need to Do.” Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Retrieved December 8, 2016 (http://advance.cccu.org/stories/diversity-and-Inclusion-Where-we-are-and-what-we-need-to-do).

Paredes-Collins, Kristin. 2009. “Institutional Priority for Diversity at Christian Institutions.” Christian Higher Education 8(4):280-303.

Pérez, Joel. 2010. “Drivers That Motivate Christian Colleges to Seek Change in the Area of Diversity (Doctoral Dissertation).” Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA.

Pérez, Joel. 2013. “Diversity at Christian Colleges: It's About Mission.” Christian Higher Education 12(1-2):20-34.

Phillips, L. Taylor, Nicole M. Stephens and Sarah S. Townsend. 2016. “Access Is Not Enough: Cultural Mismatch Persists to Limit First-Generation Students’ Opportunities for Achievement Throughout College.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Pinel, Elizabeth C., Leah R. Warner and Poh‐Pheng Chua. 2005. “Getting There Is Only Half the Battle: Stigma Consciousness and Maintaining Diversity in Higher Education.” Journal of Social Issues 61(3):481-506.

Pittman, Laura D. and Adeya Richmond. 2008. “University Belonging, Friendship Quality, and Psychological Adjustment During the Transition to College.” The Journal of Experimental Education 76(4):343-62.

Pohl, Christine D. 1999. Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Rendon, Laura I. 1994. “Validating Cultural Diverse Students: Toward a New Model of Learning and Student Development.” Innovative Higher Education, 19(1), 33-51. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01191156.

Reyes, Robert and Kimberly. F. Case. 2011. “National Profile on Ethnic/Racial Diversity of Enrollment, Graduation Rates, Faculty, and Administrators among the Council for
Christian Colleges & Universities: Second Report.” in 35th Annual CCCU Presidents Conference. Washington, D.C.

Richardson, Theresa. 2000. “Moral Imperatives for the Millennium: The Historical Construction of Race and Its Implications for Childhood and Schooling in the Twentieth Century.” Studies in Philosophy and Education 19(4):301-27.

Richman, Erica Lynn, Kristen N. Rademacher and Theresa Laurie Maitland. 2014. “Coaching and College Success.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 27(1):33-50.

Robson-Kelly, Liz and Christian van Nieuwerburgh. 2016. “What Does Coaching Have to Offer Young People at Risk of Developing Mental Health Problems? A Grounded Theory Study.” International Coaching Psychology Review 11(1):75-92.

Rood, Robert E. 2009. “Driven to Achieve: First-Generation Students' Narrated Experience at a Private Christian College.” Christian Higher Education 8(3):225-54.

Saggio, Joseph J. and Laura I. Rendón. 2004. “Persistence among American Indians and Alaska Natives at a Bible College: The Importance of Family, Spirituality, and Validation.” Christian Higher Education 3(3):223-40.

Schreiner, Laurie A. and Young K. Kim. 2011. “Outcomes of a Christian College Education: A Comparison of Cccu Students’ Gains to the National Aggregate.” Christian Higher Education 10(3-4):324-52.

Schreiner, Laurie A., Patrice Noel and Linda Cantwell. 2011. “The Impact of Faculty and Staff on High-Risk College Student Persistence.” Journal of College Student Development 52(3):321-38.

Siegel, Daniel J. 2001. “Toward an Interpersonal Neurobiology of the Developing Mind: Attachment Relationships,“Mindsight,” and Neural Integration.” Infant Mental Health Journal 22(1-2):67-94.

Simmons, Jake, Russell Lowery-Hart, Shawn T. Wahl and M. Chad McBride. 2013. “Understanding the African-American Student Experience in Higher Education through a Relational Dialectics Perspective.” Communication Education 62(4):376-94.

Smith, Daryl G. 2009. Diversity's Promise for Higher Education: Making It Work. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Soria, Krista M. and Michael J. Stebleton. 2012. “First-Generation Students' Academic Engagement and Retention.” Teaching in Higher Education 17(6):673-85.

Spiegler, Thomas and Antje Bednarek. 2013. “First-Generation Students: What We Ask, What We Know and What It Means: An International Review of the State of Research.” International Studies in Sociology of Education 23(4):318-37.

Stephens, Nicole M., Stephanie A. Fryberg, Hazel Rose Markus, Camille S. Johnson and Rebecca Covarrubias. 2012. “Unseen Disadvantage: How American Universities' Focus on Independence Undermines the Academic Performance of First-Generation College Students.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 102(6):1178-97.

Strayhorn, Terrell L. and Royel M. Johnson. 2014. “Why Are All the White Students Witting Together in College? Impact of Brown V. Board of Education on Cross-Racial Interactions among Blacks and Whites.” The Journal of Negro Education 83(3):385-99.

Swail, Watson Scott. 2014. "A Different Viewpoint on Student Retention.” Higher Learning Research Communications 4(2):18-25.

Tinto, Vincent. 2006. “Research and Practice of Student Retention: What Next?” Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice 8(1):1-19.

Wang, Tiffany R. 2012. “Understanding the Memorable Messages First-Generation College Students Receive from on-Campus Mentors.” Communication Education 61(4):335-57.

Wasylyshyn, Karol M., Barbara Gronsky and J. William Haas. 2006. “Tigers, Stripes, and Behavior Change: Survey Results of a Commissioned Coaching Program.” Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research 58(2):65-81. doi: 10.1037/1065-9293.58.2.65.

Yancey, George A. 2010. Neither Jew nor Gentile: Exploring Issues of Racial Diversity on Protestant College Campuses. New York: Oxford University Press.
Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >>