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metadata language: English

A Summer Nudge Campaign to Motivate Community College Students to Reenroll

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, event/transaction data, experimental data
  • O'Hara, Ross (Persistence Plus LLC)
  • Sparrow, Betsy (Persistence Plus LLC)
Publication Date
  • Abstract

    Despite growing economic opportunities in “middle-skills” science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions, the majority of community college STEM students leaves the STEM pipeline or withdraws from college altogether. We tested an intervention that addressed one reason why students abandon STEM: psychosocial barriers including identity threats, a lack of belonging, and a mismatch between students’ values and those prevalent in STEM. Our intervention leveraged behavioral science (“nudging”) strategies as part of a 7-week summer campaign to encourage reenrollment, delivered via text message to 1,367 randomly selected first-year students at three community colleges.
  • Technical Information

    Response Rates: Overall, nearly all students targeted for treatment received nudges (96%). The remaining 4% had phone numbers that did not receive text messages for various reasons (e.g., landlines, cell phones without service). Only a small portion of students unsubscribed from the nudges immediately on the first day (5%), and over the course of the summer the percentage of students who opted out remained small (cumulatively 15%). Students received approximately 12 nudges each, including 8 questions on average, and answered 25% of the time.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2017-06-01 / 2017-09-30
    Collection Date(s): Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017--Sat Sep 30 00:00:00 EDT 2017 (Summer to Fall 2017)
Participants were 2,759 students enrolled in the Spring 2017 term at three different U.S. community colleges. Students were selected from class lists with defined majors, with one college restricting participation to students in STEM pathways. Selected students were randomly assigned into experimental conditions by each college using Excel’s RAND function, resulting in 1,367 students in the intervention arm and 1,392 students in the control arm.
Collection Mode
  • other~~

  • Cites
    DOI: 10.1177/2332858419875715 (Text)
  • O’Hara, Ross E., and Betsy Sparrow. “A Summer Nudge Campaign to Motivate Community College STEM Students to Reenroll.” AERA Open 5, no. 3 (July 2019): 233285841987571.
    • ID: 10.1177/2332858419875715 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2019-11-25 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2019-11-25

O'Hara, Ross; Sparrow, Betsy (2018): A Summer Nudge Campaign to Motivate Community College Students to Reenroll. Version: 1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.