A growing number of colleges are helping their under-resourced students build resources and navigate the middle-class world of higher education and the workplace through the award-winning curriculum, Investigations into Economic Class in America. Thank you to our client colleges, facilitators, and especially to our Investigations graduates, who can best attest to the effectiveness of Investigations.

What Faculty, Administrators and Facilitators Say

“Our South Bend campus has used the Getting Ahead curriculum with students from under-resourced backgrounds for three years. It is a wonderful tool for helping these students succeed in higher education, the workplace, and life. Investigations into Economic Class in America, with its emphasis on the skills and behaviors necessary for college success, promises to lift our students to new levels of achievement.”

Virginia B. Calvin, Ed.D.
Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College-North Central
South Bend, Indiana

“Student retention is of vital concern to colleges and universities in the United States today. Far too often students enter college only to find they simply can’t cope with the hidden demands the academic environment places upon them. Investigations Into Economic Class in America offers an outstanding course institutions can use to retain students at high risk of dropping out–not because of a lack of intelligence or ability, but because higher education in the USA is demonstrably tailored for those equipped with middle-class sensibilities…and students who come from a life of poverty are easily lost in a maze of expectations they can’t even perceive. Economic class matters, and authors DeVol and Krodel provide a text that liberates students who might otherwise drop out, enabling and promoting success in the college environment.”

Edward Carmien, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Mercer County Community College

“Once again, Philip DeVol and Karla Krodel have investigated economic class in America not through the lens of their middle class peers nor through their own knowledgeable assumptions but through working with and learning from the true experts on poverty; disenfranchised people themselves. The result is one of the most riveting reads and transformational methods for helping first generation students navigate middle class systems and develop their own future story.”

Lisa Horan M.S.
Director, Center for Community Building to End Poverty
Lewiston, ID

“Investigations is a valuable tool and the “missing piece of the puzzle” for postsecondary academia. Students will not only assess their lives outside the walls of the classroom, but they will now be able to see how life outside the classroom impacts life inside the classroom. They’ll learn to make plans for themselves using resources available within the college and the community.”

Gale D. Vaughn
Assistant Director of Admissions
Ivy Tech Community College
South Bend, IN

“At Ivy Tech, many of my Human Services students have graduated from the Getting Ahead program, either when they were clients of local agencies who then decided to further their education, or while they were students in the on-campus program … Either way, their lives are forever changed by this experience as they gain knowledge and confidence to not only succeed as individuals, but also become change agents for the entire community.” Read entire testimonial.

Joann Phillips, MSW, LSW
Chair, Human Services Program, Ivy Tech Community College-North Central
Adjunct Instructor, School of Social Work, Indiana University South Bend

“As Dale Parnell wrote to American educators in his book, The Neglected Majority (1985), ‘No discussion of excellence in education in a universal education system can be complete without considering the plight of all members of society and the tensions that motivate or inhibit them. It is time to value our human resources as much as, if not more than, we value our natural resources…’ Investigations into Economic Class in America moves us past this multi-decade discussion phase to actual implementation. It provides both educators and their students a systematic, human-resource development strategy for enabling under-resourced college students from poverty to seek and attain post-secondary education credentials.”  Read more.

Alicia Liss
College Circles Program, Director and College Instructor
NORWESCAP (Northwest New Jersey Community Action Program Inc.)

What Investigations Graduates Say

“This class helped me with every single thing I needed for college. Everybody needs to learn what’s in this book. It helped me focus on the key points of the situation and how to apply my lifestyle to my income. I am more open minded and more relaxed with people that aren’t just like me.”

Remona Gordon

“These things I have learned in this course are not everyday lessons. They are not common sense. The average person has no idea about the world we live in. Now I am teaching my children so they don’t experience what I went through. Once you know, you know, and you can never see the world the same way again.”

Tanavia Hodges

“When I started school, I was still living in the ‘Tyranny of the Moment’ and had a lot of sadness in my life. I think some of us had a hard time in the class because we were not used to thinking about ourselves, especially in a positive light. We were able to connect with each other because even though we are all very different people, we are all in the same boat. What I learned about ‘back doors’ (the excuses I used to get out of what I plan to do)  has stayed with me daily.”

Rebecca Banks

“The course starts with a huge reality check that forms an understanding in the group. ‘What it’s like now’ isn’t ‘how it has to be.’ Realizing that I have the power to make my life go up or go down made the rest of the information relevant. Then I learned how to use it.”

Brandy Bates

“My investigations showed me people’s differences – not the stereotypes about rich and poor and black and white, but what the differences mean and what they don’t mean. Everyone in class learned from the struggles each other had. Before, I’d take risks that could have got me in trouble. Now I take risks that make me stretch— that help me get ahead. I even see my family differently.”

Janae Brooks

To view more resources for investigators, graduates, allies, facilitators, trainers, sponsors, funders, grant writers, planners – anyone working with Investigations initiatives – click on the following:

Ready to launch your own Getting Ahead initiative? Click on Launching Investigations, call us at (800) 424-9489 or send us an online request.