A one-hour class could cut the college dropout rate

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

First generation college students get lower grades and are more likely to drop out - an "achievement gap" that threatens efforts to boost the number of college graduates.

Recent research, however, suggests a simple one-hour intervention that focuses on students' social-class backgrounds could help close the divide.

In an experiment at an unnamed elite private college, incoming students listened to college juniors and seniors discuss how their social class backgrounds affected their college experience, according to the paper "Closing the Social Class Achievement Gap," to be published in Psychological Science. The attendees and the panelists were a mix of "first generation" students - those whose parents lacked college degrees - and "continuing generation" students whose parents had college educations.

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