Teaching to Fish: Impacts of a Social Capital Intervention for College Students
The study evaluates the impacts of a one-credit college course aimed at enhancing student help-seeking behaviors and social capital within a racially diverse college student sample. The course was designed to shift students’ attitudes towards help-seeking and to foster their ability to identify, initiate, and maintain relationships with mentors and other sources of social capital.
The research employed a random assignment design to assess the effects of the one-credit college course. The course was intended to increase student help-seeking behaviors and social capital among a racially diverse group of college students.
Compared to the control group, students in the treatment group reported improved attitudes towards help-seeking, increased help-seeking behavior, and higher levels of social capital and mentoring support. However, the academic benefits were mixed. There was an increase in academic self-efficacy, no impact on college GPA, and a decrease in academic cognitive engagement. The study also observed differential impacts based on factors such as year in college, race, and first-generation college student status.
The findings underscore the significance of social capital in college students’ academic and career success. The study suggests that interventions like the one-credit course can effectively enhance students’ help-seeking behaviors and social capital, which can be particularly beneficial for first-generation and BIPOC students. However, the mixed academic outcomes highlight the need for further research and refinement of such interventions.