As criticism over the rising college drop-out rate in the U.S. grows, a new, online resource attempts to stem the flow.
BYFIELD, MA – October 18, 2012 – Academic Success For All announced today the immediate availability of The College Success Toolkit, an online resource that draws from research in neural plasticity to provide video, audio and text-based tools for college students who struggle to manage the stress in their lives.
Recent findings from studies conducted at Harvard University and The Apollo Institute demonstrate that not only are U.S. college students more likely to drop out than their counterparts in other industrialized nations, but the completion rate for adult college students after 6 years of study is dismal, with only 28.1% of those studying full-time completing their degrees in this time period.
The studies also reveal stress to be a number one factor in students’ struggles to earn their degrees. Rising tuition costs are pointed to by students across the board as a major source of stress that contributes to their decision to drop out. For adults returning to the classroom, concerns about intellectual capacities, time, and lack of support elevate the stress they experience while in college, eventually prompting them to leave without their degrees.
Recent studies of the brain have demonstrated a direct connection between elevated levels of stress and a diminished capacity for learning. Researchers in California noted that stress limits the brain’s ability to collect and store memories. Others have found that when the stress hormone cortisol rises, the brain reverts to primitive survival needs.
Yet studies in neuroplasticity suggest the brain is uniquely suited to learn to override the causes of stress. These studies show how simple exercises, when engaged on a regular basis, can rewire the brain’s response to its environment and the stress it may perceive there. Changing the way the brain responds to common stressors in students’ lives may be one key to reducing the amount of time individuals spend earning their degrees.
Dr. Elana Peled, creator of The College Success Toolkit, witnessed the impact of stress in the students she taught at both public and private colleges and universities. “Most of my students had remarkable intellectual abilities,” she recalls. “But an inability to cope with the stress in their lives seemed to disrupt their ability to complete their coursework and earn their degrees.”
Recalling her own struggles as a student, Peled realized that having a resource available at the moment a student is struggling may be key to helping to students overcome the stress that precedes their decision to drop out. She turned to modern technology to create such a resource.
The College Success Toolkit uses internet-based technologies to introduce students to a variety of techniques that have been scientifically proven to reduce stress. Students can access these resources at any time of day or night in order to learn these techniques, which are presented in video, audio and print formats. In addition, the Toolkit provides instruction on thirteen strategies used by successful college students to earn their degrees. These lessons are based on the strategies Peled taught in courses for students deemed underprepared for college. The Toolkit also shows students exactly how to use the stress-reduction techniques in combination with each of the success strategies so that students are always poised to take full-advantage of the educational opportunities that await them.
About Academic Success For All
Academic Success For All provides coaching to non-traditional college students seeking to reduce the time it takes to earn their degrees.
For more information about Academic Success for All, kindly visit http://academicsuccessforall.com/. To sign up for The College Success Toolkit program, please visit http://academicsuccessforall.com/cst/sign-up/
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