Category Archives: Academic Performance

Closing the STEM Gender Gap

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Boys and girls enroll in advanced math and sciences classes at equal rates as they move into high school. But a gender gap appears as they get closer to college, with boys enrolling in more advanced STEM courses than girls, according to a recent Edutopia article.

“This gap widens the longer girls are in school and is often compounded by issues of race and class,” according to Carly Berwick, a journalist and English teacher at a STEM magnet school in New Jersey.

The good news? Educators can help close the gap.

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

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Admitted in August 2018. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

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

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Study: Traditional On-Campus Housing Offers Academic Benefits

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Cinder block walls, bunk beds, and shared bathrooms: Undergrads may like to complain about their on-campus accommodations, but new research suggests that living in a traditional dormitory may help freshmen keep their grades up.

A study published this summer in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice found that first-year students in traditional dorm rooms had higher GPAs than those living in on-campus apartment-style housing.

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Dealing with Stress as a Teenager

Teenagers are stressed. And pressured. And anxious. And overwhelmed.

According to a recent study, 45 percent of teenagers in the US are stressed “all the time.” And though anxiety levels have risen in teens across all backgrounds, it has risen more among teens in affluent areas.

In an essay for Philly magazine, Tom McGrath explores the idea that “it’s the kids with the seemingly endless opportunities who are most anxious about their futures.”

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The New ‘Senioritis’: Finding Your Motivation

The school year is almost over and motivation for many high school seniors is quite low.

Commonly known as “senioritis,” this is the time after college acceptances arrive and high school seniors start to feel like school isn’t important.

Senioritis often has a negative connotation. But past #NACACreads author Ned Johnson thinks the term and the feeling need a rebrand.

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

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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.”

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Perspective: The Rural Student Experience

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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.”

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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.

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