CollegeSpring Presents Findings at Social Psychology Conference

Mariana Preciado

Austin, TX, February 21, 2014 –Dr. Mariana Preciado, CollegeSpring’s Director of Research and Evaluation, recently presented findings at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Austin, TX. Her poster discussed the impact of CollegeSpring’s mentoring programs beyond SAT score improvement. Read the abstract below, and view the full poster here

Beyond Score Improvements: The Effects of an SAT and College Readiness Summer Program on Low-Income Students’ Attitudes towards College

One major barrier for low-income students’ access to high-quality college education is SAT scores. CollegeSpring addresses this barrier with programming that includes SAT instruction and small-group tutoring by college-aged mentors. CollegeSpring’s data shows that the program increases student’s SAT scores, thus increasing their chances of getting into college. However, research shows that other factors beyond SAT scores help determine whether or not low-income students stay in college. One of these factors is their attitudes about college. Other research shows that students who believe that college matters and believe that they have the ability and determination to complete college are more likely to graduate. In this research, I examined whether students involvement in the program was related to more positive attitudes towards college.

The results of this research showed that students who reported that they participated a lot in the mentoring component of CollegeSpring’s program were more likely to report that they felt that their friends expected them to go to college, that they would go to college, and that they would complete a college degree. One very interesting aspect of these results is that this was true regardless of how much students improved on the SAT and regardless of how good their actual attendance was in the program.

These results suggest that small-group mentoring programs, like CollegeSpring’s, may help increase students’ ability to believe that they can achieve their college dreams.