Coffee and Community: Nontraditional Pathways to Education

Join members of the Williams Transfers and Nontraditional community in a special Claiming Williams version of our signature “Coffee with a ____ ” event. Our special version titled “Coffee and Community: Nontraditional Pathways to Education” will be a conversation over coffee about accessibility and experiences in higher education. The goal of this dialogue is to create connections between our community and the broader community at Williams, promote visibility of the transfer/nontraditional community on campus, and highlight ongoing barriers to access throughout higher education at Williams. We’re hoping that in fostering an open dialogue, we can have difficult but thoughtful conversations, and build new networks for solidarity.

The Williams transfer/nontraditional community is a very diverse community at Williams with unique problems specifically pertaining to higher education. Many of us (but not exclusively) come from community colleges where access to education is challenging due to structural and systemic issues within higher education. This is often related to societal issues such as class, race, ability, and background. The transfer process is not only challenging but also alienating due to lack of support systems because our community is so small. Many students do not know who transfer students are, there is low visibility transfers on campus, and there is often a mysticism associated to our experiences. Lack of institutional support has made it difficult to for transfers to claim Williams as our own. As such, this event seeks to highlight transfer students, build community between ours and other communities on campus, create networks for solidarity, and have difficult conversations about resources and institutional challenges related to the transfer experience. For instance, multiple transfers have experienced classism from faculty members or discrimination from other students due to their past education at community college. We’re hoping that in having an open dialogue, we might be able to myth bust and address negative stereotypes associated to community college. Furthermore, we’re hoping that this dialogue might also produce solution building when it comes to gaps in making Williams more accessible for transfers.

3:45 – 5:00 PM in Schapiro 129. Presented by the Transfer Student Union.