Thesis

Increasing college fit using an online college card sort

The purpose of the Online College Card Sort [OCCS] is to help create awareness among students of college attributes and help them decide which ones are most important to them in a brief, but interactive way. Finding a good college fit is critical for students who are seeking postsecondary education. Failing to find a college that fits them can lead to student dissatisfaction and attrition and a financial loss to students, universities, and taxpayers. Each college has many academic, social, financial, and physical attributes, so students should become aware of a variety of these attributes and determine which ones are important to them. They should then select a college that matches those attributes. On the OCCS website, students will be shown 105 college attribute cards which they sort into three different piles; "I Want It", "I Don't Care", and "I Don't Want It". By sorting all of the cards, students will have a list of attributes that they do or do not want in the college they hope to attend. They can then use their results to guide them in their future college searches online, during campus visits, or at college fairs. The OCCS can be used by students as early as middle school, but can also benefit high school students and college students looking to transfer schools. It can be especially helpful to first generation college students, Black and Hispanic students, and students from low socioeconomic households.

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