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Nudges tied to a boost in STEM students' persistence at 2-year colleges, study finds

September 10, 2019 / Natalie Schwartz

STEM students who received nudges at four community colleges persisted at a 16-percentage-point-higher rate after their first semester than those who opted not to receive the nudges, according to a study released Tuesday.Jobs for the Future (JFF) and Persistence Plus selected three institutions in Ohio and one in Virginia to implement a campuswide nudging initiative, which involved nearly 10,000 students total, after a successful pilot of the program in 2017. Some populations saw greater effects than others. Racial minority and adult students who received nudges had persistence rates that were 16 and 20 percentage points higher, respectively, than students in those groups who didn't receive nudges. Nudges, or digital alerts that aim to influence students' behavior, have been floated as a possible solution to some of higher education's hard-to-solve problems. In this case, JFF, a workforce development nonprofit, and Persistence Plus, an education services company, wanted to ...