“Not Half But Double”: Exploring Critical Incidents in the Racial Identity of Multiracial College Students

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2012-08-01 18:25Z by Steven

“Not Half But Double”: Exploring Critical Incidents in the Racial Identity of Multiracial College Students

Journal of College Student Development
Volume 53, Number 4, July/August 2012
pages 524-541
DOI: 10.1353/csd.2012.0054

Angela H. Kellogg, Director of Academic Advising and Career Services
University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

Debora L. Liddell, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Higher Education and Students Affairs Program
University of Iowa

This qualitative study explored how critical incidents shape multiracial students’ understanding of race and identity at predominantly White institutions. Participants included 14 multiracial undergraduate students from two institutions in the Midwest. Four categories of critical incidents were identified from the data: (a) confronting race and racism, (b) responding to external definitions, (c) defending legitimacy, and (d) affirming racial identity. The incidents took many forms and occurred in many contexts. The majority of incidents involved interactions with other students, underscoring the influence of peers. The study also suggests implications for higher education practice and research.

In Loving v. Virginia (1967), the Supreme Court struck down restrictions against interracial marriages. Now- just four decades later, multiracial individuals represent one of the fastest growing segments of the population in the United States. According to the 2010 United States Census, 9 million (3%) of respondents indicated membership in two or more racial groups. Accordingly, a growing number of multiracial youth are enrolling in colleges and universities across the United States (Roberts, 2003). In addition to their rising numbers, multiracial students are becoming more visible and vocal as a group, evidenced by the number of multiracial student organizations, programs, and services appearing on campuses nationwide (Wong & Buckner. 2008).

Despite their growing presence, there is still much to he learned about the ways that multiracial identity is understood by students within the unique context of colleges and universities. Institutions of higher education are rich sites for studying identity (Chickering & Reisser, 1993). and provide multiracial students with ample opportunities to explore and reflect on their racial heritage, prompting them to think about their identity in different ways (Renn, 1998, 2004). Literature indicates that some multiracial college students feel pressured to choose one race, and at times have the sense of being “misperceived. misrepresented, miscategorized, and misunderstood” by faculty, staff, and peers (Cortes, 2000, p. 10). However, much of the previous college student research has been conducted with the underlying assumption that the identity processes of multiracial students are the same as for monoracial students, instead of recognizing the unique needs and developmental processes of multiracial students.

In recent decades, various theories and models have been developed to explain the identity development processes of multiracial persons. Early models of multiracial identity development were grounded in model of Black racial identity (Cross, 1971, 1991). and depicted racial identity as occurring in a series…

Tags: , , , ,

Think Outside of The Box: Understanding Multiracial Students

Posted in Campus Life, Papers/Presentations, United States on 2010-06-21 03:39Z by Steven

Think Outside of The Box: Understanding Multiracial Students

Wisconsin Academic Advising Association Conference
Appleton, Wisconsin
18 pages
Handout: 4 pages

Angela Kellogg, Director of Academic Advising and Career Services
University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point


  • Introduction and interest in topic
  • Multiracial trivia quiz
  • Overview of session
  • General multiracial information
  • Study: methods and results
  • Discussion
  • Implications
  • Conclusion and questions

Learning Outcomes
As a result of this presentation, participants will:

  • Gain information about the findings of the study
  • Develop a greater understanding of multiracial identity in the college context
  • Increase awareness of critical incidents experienced by multiracial college students
  • Consider the implications for serving multiracial students on their respective campuses

View the entire presentation here.  View the handout here.

Tags: ,

Biracial and Multiracial Students: New Directions for Student Services, Number 123

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Campus Life, Canada, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2009-11-24 21:10Z by Steven

Biracial and Multiracial Students: New Directions for Student Services, Number 123

Jossey-Bass an imprint of John Wiley & Sons
October 2008
88 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-470-42219-9

Edited by

Kristen A. Renn, Associate Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education
Michigan State University

Paul Shang, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students
University of Oregon

Editors and contributors of this important work have designed it to meet the needs of student affairs professionals who have previously had few resources on which to draw in understanding the experiences and identities of mixed race students.

Within a multiracial framework, the authors address the contemporary context for understanding racial issues on campus; several approaches to identity developments; experiences of students and faculty; and student services, programs, and policy, including a Canadian perspective.

A substantial amount of literature addresses developmental and service needs of monoracial students of color (Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Latino, Native American), Student affairs educators have observed an increase in the number of biracial and multiracial college students: students who have parents from more than one federally defined racial or ethnic background such as Asian-White, Latino-Black, or Native-White-Latino. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, this population is only going to increase. This volume is sure to become an indispensable resource for student affairs professionals serving the needs of this increasing student population.

This is the 123nd volume of the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series New Directions for Student Services, an indispensable resource for vice presidents of student affairs, deans of students, student counselors, and other student services professionals.

Each issue of New Directions for Student Services offers guidelines and programs for aiding students in their total development: emotional, social, physical, and intellectual.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Notes

  1. An Introduction to Social and Historical Factors Affecting Multiracial College Students (Paul Shang)
    This chapter introduces the volume by describing social and higher education challenges that impact the identities and experiences of traditional age biracial and multiracial college students.
  2. Research on Biracial and Multiracial Identity Development: Overview and Synthesis (Kristen A. Renn)
    This chapter presents three main bodies of research on identity development of biracial and multiracial college students: foundational theories, ecological models, and psychological studies of the impact of multiracial identity.
  3. Exploring the Experiences and Self-Labeling of Mixed-Race Individuals with Two Minority Parents (Donna M. Talbot)
    A student development researcher describes a qualitative study of ten mixed-race young adults whose parents are from different minority monoracial groups (Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, or Native American).
  4. Student Perspectives on Multiracial Identity (Alissa R. King)
    In the context of research on multiracial student experiences, this chapter provides personal reflections of a multiracial individual on campus at a time when Who am I? and What are you? questions prevail.
  5. Multiracial Student Services Come of Age: The State of Multiracial Student Services in Higher Education in the United States (Michael Paul A. Wong, Joshua Buckner)
    The authors describe emerging services to serve multiracial students, the service traditions from which these services evolve, how they are staffed, and their relationships with student organizations.
  6. The Space in Between: Issues for Multiracial Student Organizations and Advising (C. Casey Ozaki, Marc Johnston)
    Based on research and experience working with multiracial student organizations and leaders, the authors describe the functions and challenges of these student groups and provide suggestions for student affairs educators who work with them.
  7. Being Multiracial in a Wired Society: Using the Internet to Define Identity and Community on Campus (Heather Shea Gasser)
    This chapter describes established and emerging technologies, including online social networking, blogs, and wikis, that affect how multiracial students form communities and express their identities.
  8. Bicultural Faculty and Their Professional Adaptation (Michael J. Cuyjet)
    An associate professor and graduate school dean describes the ways that minority faculty members, monoracial and biracial, must learn to be bicultural to thrive in the dominant culture of higher education at predominantly White institutions.
  9. Looking North: Exploring Multiracial Experiences in a Canadian Context (Leanne Taylor)
    A Canadian scholar describes a particular context for understanding mixed-race college student experiences outside the United States and raises questions for higher education policy and student services practice.
  10. Student Affairs and Higher Education Policy Issues Related to Multiracial Students (Angela Kellogg, Amanda Suniti Niskodé)
    This chapter describes student affairs policy issues that have particular impact on multiracial students, such as collecting and reporting data on student race/ethnicity, implementing campus programs and services, and enacting affirmative action.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,