Javier & Lauren’s Story:
Do you have a right to higher education?

Javier and Lauren are first generation university students who consider access to higher education as a right.  They believe that higher education is a gateway to society, which should be open to all, not just a few privileged ones.  They are among the increasing number of first generation, low income, and minority students of color, who are attending college.

They also know that applying to college – whether 4-year, 2-year, or community college – is affected by more than individual grit, but also by the social structure which they inherited, and that to change the inequalities, will require changes in the larger society.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER AND DISCUSS
  • What are the benefits of higher education, whether a 4-year, 2-year, trades school, or community college?
  • What are the disparities between the schools and communities from which some students, like Javier and Lauren, come and the ones of more privileged students?
  • Do the disparities result from differences between the lower- and higher-income applicants, or from disparities in the schools and communities from which they come?
  • Should everyone have equal access to higher education, regardless of their race, income, or other characteristics?
  • What would it take to persuade more students to apply to and attend college?
  • What steps can colleges and universities take to make higher education more accessible to everyone?
EXPLORE YOUR RIGHTS
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Article 26, Right to education: (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

MICHIGAN CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION RESOLUTION

“Michigan’s schools, teachers, and students should have ready access to civil rights and social justice learning opportunities to better themselves, their institutions, and their communities.”

CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

Article 28, Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means.

ADDITIONAL/EDUCATOR RESOURCES

Coming Soon: Explore educational resources, curricular and course materials, learning activities, and lesson plans related to the topics in this story.

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