*POSTPONED*: Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and other “Differentisms”

Event Date & Time

  • April 29, 2020
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Event Description

*This event has been postponed*


Cia Verschelden is the keynote speaker for Celebrate Learning Week 2020.

Bandwidth concept – scarcity steals mental bandwidth

The cognitive resources for learning of many of our students have been and are being diminished by the negative effects of persistent economic insecurity and discrimination and hostility against non-majority groups based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity, and other aspects of difference. Recognizing that these students are no different than their peers in terms of cognitive capacity, we can implement strategies and interventions – in and outside the classroom – that show promise in helping students regain the cognitive resources to be successful in college.

Participants will understand that:

  • Multitasking isn’t a thing: attentional resources.
  • Persistent economic insecurity – scarcity – depletes mental bandwidth.
  • There are many other kinds of scarcity – respect, dignity, safety, belonging, etc.
  • Psycho-social underminers, including stereotype/identity threat, belongingness uncertainty, microaggressions, vicarious racism, and adverse childhood experiences, result in diminished bandwidth for our students.

We will learn about and practice several interventions designed to help students recover bandwidth, beginning with a strengths perspective about what skills and abilities they are bringing to the table – “funds of knowledge.” The interventions include values affirmation, connecting the known to the unknown, growth mindset and neurobics, and high-hope syllabi.

Participants will:

  • Understand that students have “funds of knowledge” and that beginning with those strengths will help them recover bandwidth and increase the likelihood of academic success.
  • Understand that there are evidence-based interventions that show promise in helping students regain bandwidth.
  • Practice interventions and reflect on them related to their potential use in the classroom and in other settings with students.

Bio: Cia Verschelden

Cia Verschelden is the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Malcolm X College. Most recently, she was the Executive Director of Institutional Assessment at University of Central Oklahoma. At UCO, she taught in sociology and in the first-year program; at Kansas State University, where she was on the faculty for 21 years, she taught social welfare and social policy, women’s studies, and nonviolence studies. Cia has a B.S. in psychology from Kansas State University, an M.S.W. from The University of Connecticut, and an Ed.D. from Harvard University. Her book, Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization, was published in 2017.