Education is the key to success. Unfortunately, educational opportunities are not always equal. Student homelessness, an often invisible issue, is a crisis which impedes on their abilities to pursue a higher education. How are homeless students navigating through the barriers they face to successfully obtain a degree? Clearly, this population of students are at an academic disadvantage with the addition of having to fend for themselves. Stress caused from the need to fulfill basic human needs is transferred to their academic life, causing strain on their ability to succeed both in and out of the college classroom. With my thesis proposal, I hope to uncover the issues of an invisible, struggling population. Through my discoveries, I would like to create a digital platform to assist homeless students achieve educational success. With the help of additional resources, especially with an emphasis on education, a stepping stone can be made to help balance out the educational inequality they face.
Earl Gee: SJSU Graphic Design Professor
Yoon Chung Han: SJSU Graphic Design Professor
William Armaline: Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Founding Director of SJSU Human Rights Program
1. What are the main priorities of needs homeless students require? How are they currently navigating these needs?
2. How do students remain motivated to continue their education despite barriers they face? Why might their endeavors become unsuccessful?
3. What strategies have universities used to provide additional support and assistance to homeless students? Are their efforts effective or enough?
S.T.R.I.V.E. is an app that provides tools to help homeless college students succeed in obtaining their degree. Through this app, users can easily locate basic and educational resources that are crucial to their daily and academic life. Instead of having to dig through web searches to find resources, S.T.R.I.V.E. provides this information in one single convenient application. Additionally, S.T.R.I.V.E. motivates students through articles which give best study practices to allow them to succeed in the classroom, as well as success stories to hear from professionals who have once been in similar situations. The advocacy section of the app helps students find advocacy groups to join on campus and in their community, petitions to sign to create change, contact information on local public decision makers, and venues for change. The community feature allows students to find out what’s new at their school and events that may benefit them. These four helpful features are combined into an app which can be accessed through mobile phone or on desktop.