Many students worry that they lack the ability to master college-level coursework, no matter what they do. Some fear, “I’m just not a math person.” Left unaddressed, such fears can become self-fulfilling prophecies that feed a destructive cycle of reduced motivation and performance that ends in dropping out.
However, research shows that colleges can boost retention—particularly for students from historically underrepresented groups—by helping students develop a growth mindset: the belief that they can improve their academic abilities through effective study strategies.
Short & Simple
This 30-minute online program includes survey questions, short reading passages, and brief reflection exercises. Students will learn:
Scientific evidence showing that the brain is malleable.
Specific behaviors that can increase abilities over time.
Importance of effective study strategies.
About the Program
4% point increase in continuous, full-time enrollment after a semester among Black, Latinx, and first-generation college students when tested in a 4-year college.
5% point increase in transfer, graduation, and continued enrollment after 2 years when tested across several community colleges.
Rigorously tested since 2010 in multiple randomized controlled trials with thousands of college students. Findings include:
We’re thrilled to bring you Growth Mindset for College Students as an open enrollment program, and we want to involve as many eligible colleges as possible. We’re offering this program for free to eligible colleges thanks to our generous funders.
How It Works
1. Learn & Discuss
Review the Program Information Packet to learn how participation works.
Create a user account and prepare to participate using our online platform.
Students complete a 30-minute online module during new student orientation or a first year experience class.
4. Track Impact
See which students completed the program, and, if desired, compare with engagement metrics and academic outcomes.
Read about PERTS and the mindset programs in the New York Times.
Get more background about mindsets from the Student Experience Research Network (formerly Mindset Scholars Network).
Read published research articles about our work to advance mindset science.
For More Information
The Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) is a nonprofit research and development institute that translates insights from psychological science into cutting-edge tools, measures, and recommendations that educators anywhere can use to foster healthy and equitable academic engagement and success. We are so excited to bring you Growth Mindset for College Students and to make the latest research on growth mindset strategies actionable to every college in the United States.
In addition to the Program Information Packet, the following resources include a marketing brochure, an implementation summary, as well as sample program materials like facilitator instructions and a student communication.
Ready to Get Started?
Continue to our online platform where you will be able to sign up and prepare to participate.
Thanks to the generous financial support from The Character Lab, the Bezos Family Foundation, and the Raikes Foundation, we are thrilled to make Growth Mindset for 9th Graders freely available to all high schools in the United States. In doing so, we hope to advance our mission to empower educators everywhere to implement evidence-based strategies effectively.