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How should colleges describe Social-Belonging for College to students?

The Facilitator Instructions are accessible from the Dashboard (Tasks > Step 2: Prepare to Participate > Orient Your Team > Facilitator Instructions) provide specific instructions about how to describe the program to students. It is important to follow them closely because mindset programs become less effective if they are described as interventions intended to help students (see Yeager et al., 2016b). 

For example, describing the program as an intervention intended to help students can cause students to become defensive and to view participation as stigmatizing. This prevents the internalization that is critical for the program’s success. Instead, you can describe the program as a way to better understand how students learn and what schools can do to make school a better place for them.

We offer a brief summary below:

  • DO frame the program as:

    • An opportunity for students to share their perspectives on coming to college. 

    • An opportunity for students to help future students in their transition to college. 

    • An important part of new student orientation. 

  • DO NOT frame the program as:

    • Something meant to help the students participating. 

    • Something meant to help students from particular backgrounds; avoid mentions of race, socioeconomic status, or any other similar group identity. 

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