7 Mindsets Colleges Can Promote for Student Success

applying mindset for college success

Succeeding in college can be challenging at the best of times. Today, the barriers to college success are more than ever before. Different barriers like mental and physical health are ongoing topics on college campuses across the country. Still, colleges can leverage the tool of a mindset to help students succeed.


The Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck theorized two mindsets: growth and fixed. Growth mindset students believe they can learn from failures and change to achieve their goals. Fixed mindset students feel and see their qualities as fixed; they believe change as not possible. Therefore, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that students have about themselves can determine their college success.  


Focus on Purpose to Promote College Success 

Likewise, students who know why they are pursuing a higher degree perform better than those students who just show up. When students have a purpose mindset, they thrive on campus. As well, it gives students a reason to keep showing up to classes; it builds resilience. Resilience translates to academic success.


The Social Mindset

Most importantly, show students how the learning connects to their lives. Besides that, students need to know that they are not alone. Social mindset means finding a community that supports the student as they pursue their goals. Caring faculty and staff can support students by hosting clubs and holding office hours. Also, this intervention can help students view the challenges of being in college as temporary. The longer they are in the program, the more they will fit and find their group. As a result, they are more likely to experience college success.


Faculty Can Spur College Success Through Empathy    

Likewise, faculty and staff should be briefed on the challenges some students face. Obstacles such as homelessness and family care do have an impact. An empathic mindset lets educators know when to discipline and show mercy. Faculty that take the time to develop empathy build stronger relationships with their students. These students tend to experience college success.


Empathize Cultural Openness 

Similarly, the cultural mindset builds empathy. Being open to different cultures is necessary in today’s interconnected world. Being able to adapt to various cultures will help students, faculty, and administrations to stand out. Being able to thrive in the fast-changing world means being open to change.


Change Mindset

Likewise, learning new tech skills is essential. A change mindset embraces innovation and entrepreneurship. These students will create new markets, products, and jobs that have a positive impact on society.


Create a Learning Environment That Touts Growth 

Yes, the learning mindset seems like a natural win for schools. Yet, it must be developed. Both faculty and students need to feel they are in an environment where it is safe to fail. Besides that, the power of learning from failures leans into the growth mindset. A learning mindset is a lifelong success indicator. Faculty and staff may need to apply the learning mindset to themselves to stay at the top of their fields. 


Beware of a False Growth Mindset to Support College Success 

The growth mindset has been around for a while. So, it might be integrated into various programs. However, educators must be aware of the dangers of misusing it. Thus, educators might not be doing quite right. They may miss the key that makes it work, their own mindset. An instructor’s’ perspective is closely related to the success of his or her student. Staff attitudes about students continue to impact performance. If the entire philosophy is not presented correctly, the student may double-down on an ineffective strategy. 


In sum, colleges can apply and offer these seven mindsets for students to support their success. Each mindset has its pros. College administrations will benefit by building a supportive community for students. Deans who train their staff about these mindsets, explaining how they are more than showing videos or reading books, can win. Faculty and staff who understand them know how to support students through their struggles and foster appreciation. Deep work is necessary to experience the benefits of growth mindsets.


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