A new study by Stanford has found that openly discussing class differences can help first generation college students close the achievement gap.
Earlier research found that the first generation of family to attend college often lag in grades and graduation rates.
“The research showed that when incoming first-generation students saw and heard stories from junior and senior students with different social-class backgrounds tell stories about their struggles and successes in college, they gained a framework to understand how their backgrounds shaped their own experiences and how to see this as an asset,” said MarYam Hamedani, the study’s co-author and associate director of Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
In the study, first generation students were divided in half and put through two different programs, one a standard program for new students and one which discussed class differences. Those who attended the later program scored an average 3.4 GPA vs 3.1 for the other students.
You can learn more about how discussing class differences made an impact in this story from Stanford.