Cayla Lanier

Cayla Lanier BA, MA, PhD candidate is interested in the relationship between workplace communication and culture, how it affects and is affected by gender and interpersonal relationships. I am interested in mentoring relationships, how and why they work, and how the practice is affected by gender. I am interested in teacher/student relationships, ethics and boundaries. I am interested in reflection, reflexivity, journaling, sense-making, and narrative.


Within Higher Education in Florida, one thing currently drives every activity: preeminence. This statewide measure of success for universities serves as a bragging right and tangible benefit in the form of millions of dollars in additional funding. Preeminence is measured through a series of metrics, most notably graduation rates, and is frequently the driving force behind many student success initiatives. In this paper, I argue that a metric-based measure of student success falls short in considering the broader purpose of earning a college degree. Instead, I suggest incorporating practices of maternal pedagogies within higher education to teach the whole student and prepare them for post-graduation life. This deemphasizes getting students to graduation as the end goal and creates space for a student-centered definition of “student success,” identified through details gleaned from interviews with graduating seniors.

A Degree is Not Enough: What Maternal Pedagogies Can Offer to the Notion of Student Success

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