Videos of role models can help improve student retention, especially among minoritized groups: Study

Can videos of graduates improve the retention of college engineering students? A group of researchers from the US sought to answer this question by conducting a study of approximately 500 engineering students. The researchers studied how social media role models could help address the high attrition rate of postsecondary engineering programs, a rate that is particularly high among minoritized groups. They found that engineering students who viewed videos of engineering program alumni from minoritized backgrounds and completed a reflection exercise had higher course grades and a greater likelihood of enrolling in engineering courses in subsequent terms than the control group. The impact was particularly strong among women. The researchers concluded that social media could be used to reduce attrition and foster positive STEM outcomes for minoritized college students.

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