My current interests are post-high school adjustment, academic success, and well-being.
I am working to have colleges implement assessments into their college entrance orientation programs.
A large number of college students projected to be in school in the 2017 academic year, namely 23 million. Using statistics from the prior year among these college goers 20% have or will have a mental health condition (totaling 4.6 million); 25% will have suicidal thoughts or feelings (5.5 million); and 62% will experience a mental health crisis on campus (14.3 million).
Mental illness diminishes the quality of life for college students, reduces academic performance and GPA, and inhibits persistence – 64% of those who leave and don’t return to complete their post-secondary education report mental illness as the reason (ibid).
Research shows that anxiety, stress, and lack of social support have negative impacts on academic adjustment (Tobey, 1997), GPA (Van Heyningen, 1997), and retention (Upcraft, & Gardner, 1989) respectively. However little has been done to incorporate these findings into supporting college students.
To assign participants to the appropriate interventions, an algorithm must be derived. A multitude of variables will be assessed, ranked, and thresholds created from combinations of variables. They include mental health, attribution style, mindsets regarding intelligence, stereotype threat, personality, belonging and social support.
This can help with students adjustment to college and future success.
The scale used to ascertain mental health will include stress, anxiety, and depression inventories; mindsets regarding intelligence; stereotype threats will examine perceived threats to minorities and women in STEM fields; belonging will be most important with minorities – prior research demonstrates it is one of the greatest determinates of racial achievement gaps; personality assessment using the Big Five Inventory will look for high levels of neuroticism and levels of agreeableness, although the other dimensions of personality can be used for exploratory analysis; social support will consider factors of family/relatives (Holahan, Valentiner, & Moss, 1994; Milevsky, 2005), friends/acquaintances (McBrath & Braunstein, 1997), and student involvement on campus (Okun & Finch, 1998) – these have shown to influence feelings of loneliness, psychological adjustment, depression, and retention.