Increasing Undergraduate Student Retention with “Psychology of Success”: A Course for First-Year Students on Academic Warning
In an effort to improve student success and thus retention, the College of Arts & Sciences at a highly selective Mid-Atlantic private undergraduate university in the United States developed a for-credit course titled Psychology of Success. The course, grounded in positive psychology, adopts a strengths-based approach. Students who are on academic warning after their first semester are enrolled in the course, although not required to remain in the course. After four years of implementation, student outcomes for those who participated, across a variety of dimensions – including retention, persistence, and graduation –had better outcomes than those who did not participate. This practice report will share the philosophy, methodology, and implementation of the course as well as results from the first four years of implementation.