How Connecting Student Services to Online Learning Can Close the Attainment Gap

When students are the first in their family to go to college, they — like all incoming students —  have great hopes. The unfortunate reality, however, is that first-generation students often don’t graduate. A longitudinal study by the Pell Institute showed that just 11 percent of low-income, first-generation students are likely to attain a bachelor’s degree within six years.

It’s not for lack of effort; students who are the first in their family to attend college often don’t know what to expect when they get there. They may be unprepared for college-level work or fail to recognize when they are falling behind.

For many first-generation students, online or blended classes help to mitigate some of these challenges. Online courses that use adaptive learning software offer students a personalized learning experience by tailoring a course to their needs and providing immediate feedback on their work.

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