College of Liberal Arts
Ethnic Studies Department
BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies
Learn by Leaving is as an analysis of recruitment and retention rates among faculty/staff of color at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), specifically, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo) in San Luis Obispo, California. This project aims to answer the following: How does the presence, or lack thereof, of faculty/staff of color impact the success of students of color at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo? Additionally, how has the presence, or lack thereof, of faculty/staff of color shaped the overall college experience for students of color at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo? In the context of this research, student success is defined holistically and not quantified. These questions are approached using the framework of Critical Race Theory (CRT). Therefore, the project employs the use of narratives and storytelling as its primary source of data. This data is collected from both current and former students, as well as current and former faculty/staff at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo via interviews. This project also draws upon existing research conducted at other universities to supplement its own data. Ultimately, Learn by Leaving serves the purpose of empowering its participants and enlightening readers on the issues that people of color (POC) face at PWIs such as Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.