College Transition Collaborative
Millions of students begin college each year, yet 4 out of 10 will not graduate. Completion rates are even lower for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including students of color, first-generation students, and students from low-income households. The College Transition Collaborative (CTC) at Stanford University aims to change this by bringing together pioneering social psychologists, education researchers, and higher education practitioners to create learning environments that produce more equitable higher education outcomes.
Although almost every student struggles sometimes in college, students’ backgrounds and previous experiences shape the meaning they draw from these struggles. For example, awareness of negative stereotypes and underrepresentation can lead students from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience challenges--such as a low grade on an exam or difficulty making friends--as yet another sign they do not belong or can't succeed in college. As a result, they may withdraw academically and socially. The CTC seeks to help schools better understand how their students experience moments of difficulty, and how psychologically attuned practices (e.g., messages, policies, behaviors, and programs) can convey to all students they are valued, respected, and can excel.
Through collaborative research-practice partnerships, the CTC develops cost-effective and evidence-based tools, resources, and programs that enable schools to reach students at pivotal moments in order to foster success and resilience. CTC’s work has helped support greater engagement, retention, and completion for students at diverse colleges and universities across the United States.