The College Perspectives Program uses research-tested methods to increase community college students’ achievement and motivation

community-collegeCommunity colleges across the nation are invited to participate in the College Perspectives Program, an initiative designed to help students cultivate learning mindsets that will support and increase persistence, motivation and achievement.

The invitation comes from Stanford University’s PERTS Lab, and was designed in consultation with Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck.

The program will, in particular, focus on helping students develop a growth mindset to increase intellectual strength and capacity. This will help equip students to engage with more challenging coursework.

Community college is a vital pathway for adults of all ages to acquire new skills and knowledge that can help them succeed in today’s rapidly changing economy. Yet too many students get discouraged by the rigors of college coursework and dropout because they do not believe they can master the material.

Next page: How PERTS will analyze program results

In an early version of the College Perspectives Program, which included more than 1,400 community college students during 2012-2014, the program:

  • Increased the rate at which students were enrolled full-time by over 15 percent
  • Increased the rate at which students earned credit in STEM courses by over 20 percent

Bolstered by these results, Stanford’s PERTS is expanding the College Perspectives Program to help community college students across the country make progress towards their degrees by developing a growth mindset towards their studies. PERTS will analyze the results of the program in what it says will be the largest study of its kind at community colleges.

“How can community colleges use growth mindset research to help their students? The College Perspectives Program is the best example yet of how this can be done,” said Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. “I’m excited to see the impact it will have on students’ mindsets and achievement.”

The College Perspectives Program helps students become resilient learners by supporting them develop growth mindsets and skills. This online program:

  • Targets key beliefs about the nature of intelligence, students’ motivation and engagement
  • Helps students reach their full potential by developing more adaptive beliefs that complement efforts to improve academic skills
  • Builds on past successful programs by tailoring materials to the needs and perspectives of community college students

The College Perspectives Program consists of two online training sessions that take a total of 60 minutes for each student to complete. There is no cost for community colleges to enroll and to make the program available to its students, though at least 1,000 students from each participating school must be enrolled.

For additional information about how your community college can participate in this study, please visit

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Sign up for our newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Laura Ascione

Sign up for our newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.