Student Networks & Cultural Assets

The Networks and Cultural Assets Project (NCA)

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Measuring Students’ Community Cultural Wealth and Social Networks

The Networks and Cultural Assets Project (NCA) administers survey and interview instruments to measure students’ Community Cultural Wealth (Yosso, 2005) and social networks, then provides results to local educators for academic and career development purposes.

Historically, research and programming involving undergraduates of color focused on what these students lack – an approach that not only demotivates students, but also misses opportunities to support them as they build upon their existing strengths. Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) is a framework focusing on students’ assets, including skills and dispositions from their families, communities of origin, cultures, and personal experiences. For example, familial capital refers to cultural knowledge nurtured within families or fictive kin, and resistant capital is knowledge created through challenging inequality and resisting subordination.

Our survey, recently tested with students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Texas System, combines measures of different forms of CCW with personal network analysis adapted from previous work (Burt, 1984Sablan, 2019). This instrument shows how students’ CCW is nurtured in their relationships both on and off campus and reveals connections between students’ CCW and measures of interest to career development professionals (e.g., work volition, work values). Our study team also conducted semi-structured interviews with a subset of survey participants to better understand those relationships and experiences that have the greatest impact on their CCW, career trajectories, aspirations, and resilience.



Read the research report on Community Cultural Wealth (PDF)!

Publications by the Networks & Cultural Assets Project

Forming Science Identity in Personal Networks: A Quantitative Study of Social Support for Latine STEM Students identity, and sense of belonging.

Using the Community Cultural Wealth framework (CCW) – a theory focused on strengths within Communities of Color (Yosso, 2005) – this study examines survey responses from Latine STEM majors across the University of Texas System and measures important contours of Latine STEM students’ social networks, including (1) the features of these social networks, (2) the forms of CCW students possess in their social networks, and (3) the relationships that exist between students’ networks, science

Hispanic/Latino Student Community Cultural Wealth, Social Networks, and Career Development at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater: A Report by the Networks and Cultural Assets Project (NCA)

This report contains findings from a pilot study by the Networks and Cultural Assets Project (NCA) focused on the career development, cultural assets, and social networks of Hispanic/Latino students at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater (UWW), a public comprehensive university of about 11,000 undergraduates in rural southeastern Wisconsin. In partnership with UWW staff, NCA seeks to better understand student resources by drawing on the Community Cultural Wealth framework and social network analysis.




Hispanic/Latino Student Community Cultural Wealth, Social Networks, and Career Development at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater: A Methods and Data Compendium to the Report by the Networks and Cultural Assets Project (NCA)

In this methods and data compendium, we present the qualitative and quantitative methods, data characteristics, and analysis results for a pilot study gathering asset-oriented data from undergraduate students identifying as Hispanic or Latina/o at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW). Our goal was to better understand these students’ local academic and career development, valued relationships, and the cultural and social assets they derive from these relationships. With guidance from local educators, the design, data collection, and analytical work of the three human subjects-trained authors was undertaken with the permission of the UWW and University of Wisconsin–Madison institutional research boards. 

This study is in its pilot phase, so we welcome conversations with other researchers interested in CCW. Our team includes Ross BenbowNidia Bañuelos, and Kyoungjin Jang. Our research is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Science Foundation (Award #2201545).

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 2201545. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.