Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Dr. Andrew Wall, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Dr. Adriana Ruiz Alvarado, Ph.D.

Dr. Ann E. Blankenship Knox, J.D., Ph.D.


sociology of class, socioeconomic status, habitus, cleft habitus, social class, working class


Educational Leadership | Higher Education | Sociology


Navigating the complex system of college enrollment can be challenging for most, and even more so for working-class students and families. But what happens once students are admitted and arrive on campus? This qualitative study explores the phenomenon of the college experience for students who identify as working class by investigating how social class shapes their higher education experience. It explores the role social background plays in the college experience for working-class students who may be regarded by the institutions at which they are enrolled as an invisible minority given the habitus with which they arrive to a campus that privileges the middle and upper classes. Specifically, it seeks to understand how students manage the blurring and crossing of class boundaries are well as identity development. Higher education is seen as one means to social mobility, but for socially mobile working-class students, overcoming middle-class bias and acclimating to a new culture may be challenging.


© 2019 Michelle L. Battista Rogers

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781392019610