Faculty and Counselor Professional Development

Literature Relevant to STEM Faculty/Counselor Development

The Effect of Labor Market Information on Community College Students’ Major Choice

  • Rachel Baker, Eric Bettinger, Brian Jacob, and Ioana Marinescu.  ABSTRACT:  An important goal of community colleges is to prepare students for the labor market. But are students aware of the labor market outcomes in different majors? And how much do students weigh labor market outcomes when choosing a major? In this study we find that less than 40% of a sample of community college students in California rank broad categories of majors accurately in terms of labor market outcomes. However, students believe that salaries are 13 percent higher than they actually are, on average, and students underestimate the probability of being employed by almost 25 percent. We find that the main determinants of major choice are beliefs about course enjoyment and grades, but expected labor market outcomes also matter. Experimental estimates of the impact of expected labor market outcomes are larger than OLS estimates and show that a 1% increase in salary is associated with a 1.4 to 1.8% increase in the probability of choosing a specific category of majors.


 The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring

  • Eric P. Bettinger and Rachel Baker.  ABSTRACT: College completion and college success often lag behind college attendance. One theory as to why students do not succeed in college is that they lack key information about how to be successful or fail to act on the information that they have. We present evidence from a randomized experiment which tests the effectiveness of individualized student coaching. Over the course of two separate school years, InsideTrack, a student coaching service, provided coaching to students from public, private, and proprietary universities. Most of the participating students were non-traditional college students enrolled in degree programs. The participating universities and InsideTrack randomly assigned students to be coached. The coach contacted students regularly to develop a clear vision of their goals, to guide them in connecting their daily activities to their long term goals, and to support them in building skills, including time management, self advocacy, and study skills. Students who were randomly assigned to a coach were more likely to persist during the treatment period, and were more likely to be attending the university one year after the coaching had ended. Coaching also proved a more cost-effective method of achieving retention and completion gains when compared to previously studied interventions such as increased financial aid.

A Review of Attributional Retraining Treatments: Fostering Engagement and Persistence in Vulnerable College Students

  •  Tara L. Haynes, Raymond P. Perry, Robert H. Stupnisky, and Lia M. Daniels.  Attributional retraining (AR) refers to a motivational treatment that helps students reframe the way they think about success and failure by encouraging them to take responsibility for academic outcomes and adopt the “can-do” attitude of the little-engine-that could. This document describes the theoretical underpinnings of AR as a motivational treatment to enhance academic engagement and performance and reviews three decades of empirical research on the effectiveness of AR treatments.  In so doing, we focus on the capacity of AR to foster adaptive attributional thinking, perceptions of control, and motivation in college students, and outline a five-step protocol for implementing AR in college classrooms.