For many students, making their way to higher education requires more than hard work and determination. Low-income mirity students who overcome obstacles to achieve academic success have usually encountered at least one college-educated adult in their schooling who took the initiative to reach out to them and provide concrete academic guidance. In this book, sociologist Roberta Espiza introduces the idea of pivotal moments interventions that point the way toward college, particularly for students from working-class or ethnic mirity backgrounds. These pivotal encounters and the relationships that spring from them can help students accumulate procedural kwledge about attending college (cultural capital) and interpersonal support (social capital).Pivotal Moments introduces a diverse group of students whose experiences highlight how teachers, counselors, academic outreach professionals, and professors can help students circumvent the barriers they encounter in attaining school success. It shows how the timing, duration, and impact of pivotal moments can redirect students educational trajectories. The book also translates the theory of pivotal moments into concrete practices that educators at all levels can use to intervene more effectively in the lives of working-class mirity students.
Roberta Espinoza is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, Fullerton.