For over 15 years now I have been helping students with special challenges thrive and grow in college. And I have been helping postsecondary institutions provide targeted and effective support to nontraditional students. My practice, described on these pages, offers a range of services for students, families, and institutions designed to make earning a college degree and navigating in the culture of college easier for more people.

Jeff Davis, Ph.D.

              Phone: 707 544-5765, (cell) 707 478-4926. email:

What We Do

  • Work with institutions to evaluate old organizational systems that may disadvantage nontraditional students
  • Work with institutions to redesign systems and support services so they work better for all students
  • Work directly with students to orient them to the culture of college, problem solve, and keep them on track
  • Work with families to create a plan for how best to support their students
  • Call in specialized help to address the unique needs of unique students

This practice is a network of people working in higher education devoted to making the dream of a college degree accessible to all Americans.

The Iron Grip of Privilege

Not too long ago it was only the privileged in American society who were able to attend college. Most people believe things have changed during the last fifty years, and, no mistake about it, they have changed. According to U.S. Census data, in 1960 approximately 2,900,000 Americans were enrolled in college (1.6 percent of the total population). In 2009 approximately 20,400,000 were enrolled in college (6.7 percent of the total population).

The social progress this increase in enrollment represents cannot be denied, but don’t let the numbers fool you. The iron grip of privilege is still upon us. 

It isn’t overt racism, sexism, or ablism that provides the privileged with an advantage anymore, but the fundamental structures and organizational customs of the education system that does this. These fundamental structures and customs have remained static over time reflecting philosophies and attitudes about education formulated hundreds of years ago. The internal workings of the education system have proven to be largely immune from American social progress, even from the advances of the civil rights movement.

Success Lags behind Enrollment Increases

Sure, nontraditional students are attending college in larger numbers than ever before, but are they succeeding? Not really. People who grow up in families without a history of college attendance, people of color, and people with disabilities graduate from college at lower rates than people from more privileged backgrounds. Much lower rates.
This will continue to be the case until nontraditional students and their families master the system and understand how it disadvantages them. It will continue to be the case because the privileged have no reason to change these fundamental structures and customs.
College Success for Nontraditional Students exists to help nontraditional students succeed in college. We are experts on the culture of college. We have studied the higher education system, and we want to pass on what we have learned to nontraditional students and their families—especially students on the autism spectrum (and students with learning disabilities) and students who are the first in their families to attend college (first-generation students).

               Phone: 707 544-5765, (cell) 707 478-4926. email: