Category Archives: Academic Performance

Report: Self-Advocacy Skills and Self-Determination Key for Students with Disabilities

iStock

All students participating in postsecondary education need effective self-advocacy and self-determination. However, it is even more essential for those with disabilities for obtain and utilize these skills.

According to a new brief from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, self-advocacy skills “include a person understanding themselves, their rights, and their needs, and communicating that understanding—leading to self-determination. Self-determination is a dispositional characteristic that enables a person to act in service of freely chosen goals and make or cause things to happen in their own life.”

Continue reading Report: Self-Advocacy Skills and Self-Determination Key for Students with Disabilities

Perspective: The Rural Student Experience

Recruitment of rural and low-income students is often a goal of universities. But some schools don’t offer the support system to allow these students to succeed once they arrive on campus.

That was the case for writer Alison Stine.

Stine recently authored an essay recounting her experience as a student from a rural background at a private college.

“I wasn’t the first person in my family to go to college — I was the second generation, after my parents — and on teachers’ and guidance counselors’ advice, I had applied to several schools, including state universities,” she wrote. “But the private colleges were the ones that seemed to really want someone like me. They courted me. They offered me money, and I couldn’t say no to that. I couldn’t afford to.”

Continue reading Perspective: The Rural Student Experience

Report: Balancing Work and Learning is a Struggle for Low-Income Students

Nearly 70 percent of college students work while enrolled in school, but the types of jobs they hold and the hours they work vary based on their socioeconomic status, according to a recent report from Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce (CEW).

“When they choose to work…higher-income students have access to the best jobs and work experience, such as internships and assistantships,” according to a CEW press release. “Low-income students are more likely than higher-income students to work in food service, sales, and administrative support jobs while enrolled. Work experience in these jobs provides basic life skills like conscientiousness and teamwork, but does not provide the deeper technical and general skills that foreshadow good career entry-level jobs.”

And in many cases, the demands of these positions exacerbate the challenges students face in the classroom.

Continue reading Report: Balancing Work and Learning is a Struggle for Low-Income Students

Advocates Spread the Word About Afterschool Meal Program

iStock

Have you heard about the federal government’s Afterschool Meal Program?

Advocates in Texas are trying to get more schools and community organizations in their state to participate in the initiative, which is available to qualifying schools across the nation. Experts say the program is under-used, despite its power to provide low-income students with a free meal at the end of every school day.

Continue reading Advocates Spread the Word About Afterschool Meal Program

NACAC Member Sounds Off About the Importance of GPA

iStock

High school students have a lot of questions about the college admission process.

Amariyah Callender, a rising senior in the Atlanta area, decided to go straight to the source to get hers answered.

Callender interviewed NACAC member Latrina Fisher, associate director of admissions at Spelman College (GA), in a new podcast for VOXatl. She admitted to starting her senior year off with a 2.9 GPA and asked Fisher how much she needed to be stressing about the final numbers.

Continue reading NACAC Member Sounds Off About the Importance of GPA

Study: In-Class Use of Cell Phones, Laptops Lowers Test Scores

iStock

In the age of laptops, tablets, and smartphones, we’ve mastered the art of multitasking — right?

Unfortunately, a new study suggests otherwise and includes some sobering findings for students.

According to research recently published in Educational Psychology, students who use electronic devices during class lectures have a harder time recalling what they learned in the long-term.

Continue reading Study: In-Class Use of Cell Phones, Laptops Lowers Test Scores

Low-Income Families Play a Powerful Role in the Success of Their Students

iStock

Financial assistance is crucial to the academic success of low-income college students, but according to new research, family support may be even more influential.

A study published recently in Research in Higher Education showed that students with a strong familial cheering section did better at navigating college life and classes.

Continue reading Low-Income Families Play a Powerful Role in the Success of Their Students

Stop the Spread of Math Anxiety

iStock

Educators have long-known that math anxiety can affect student performance, but the underlying source of that apprehension may surprise you.

“Math anxiety can develop in the very early grades, often because of the negative messages about math that children pick up from the adults in their lives,” according to Karyn Lewis, a senior researcher at Education Northwest. “…Research shows that teachers unintentionally transmit their own attitudes about math to their students. This means teachers who have math anxiety can pass it on to their students, which can impact students’ math performance.”

Continue reading Stop the Spread of Math Anxiety

Engagement Key to Retaining Non-Traditional College Students

iStock

Determining which returning adult students are at risk of dropping out of college is a complex process, according to results from a recent national survey.

Common data points — such as demographics, choice of major, and hours devoted to studying — can’t reliably predict whether a nontraditional student will struggle to complete their degree.

As it turns out, the most dependable factor for identifying at-risk non-traditional students is the extent to which they make effective connections to their college, a factor that can be difficult to measure. After all, the very students who are most in danger of dropping out often have limited contact with professors, peers, and college staff, according to a recent report from Barnes & Noble College Insights — a division of the bookseller that produces quantitative and qualitative research related to higher education.

Continue reading Engagement Key to Retaining Non-Traditional College Students