Just 10% of students will graduate from San Jose State University in four years. Only 4.5% of Latino students graduate in four years. You read that right. Out of 100 students who start college only 10 will graduate and only 4 will be Latinos.
The common refrain is that these students are not academically prepared, they have many commitments, or they lack the financial resources. But even when you hold for these factors, the drop out rate remains high.
One San Jose State University teacher looked further. Why do students drop out of college? He decided to ask them. What he found:
A lot of times their first response is, 'Oh well, I kinda gave up.' Or, 'I didn't try hard enough,' " says Pizarro.
Basically, these former students blamed themselves.
But there was more to it.
"Then we ask specific questions," explains Pizarro. "And they say, 'Oh yeah, well, I couldn't get classes for like two semesters. Yeah, and I couldn't meet with an advisor.' "
What emerged from these interviews were real institutional barriers.
And there was one final problem: The dropouts never felt part of the campus community.
Belonging is a huge factor in student success. There is insightful research out of Stanford by Professor Greg Walton that explores how belonging can be influenced.
At Gainful we believe a student's sense of belonging can be influenced by proactive communication and conversational support. Our college partners are seeing the effects. Conversation promotes trust and trust is the foundation for a relationship. Colleges can create ongoing, meaningful relationships with their students. Gainful can show you how.