Underachievement among college students

Thomas King Abstract Hispanic college students are more at risk of poor academic performance and dropping out than any other racial group. The Hispanic college population continues to grow, yet rates of retention and achievement for this group continue to decline. Previous research on Hispanic college students has examined factors that contribute to underachievement and declining graduation rates, but they are limited to students attending 4-year institutions. This study examined if grade point averages GPAs were affected by levels of self-efficacy, resiliency, and sensation seeking.

Underachievement among college students

Underachievement among Gifted Minority Students: The majority of articles and studies on gifted minority students have focused on issues of identification, primarily because some minority groups of gifted learners, particularly Black, Hispanic American, and Native American, have been underrepresented in gifted programs.

While there is a clear need to increase the participation of minority students in gifted education programs, there is an equally important need to focus on issues of achievement and underachievement.

Underachievement among college students

This digest discusses Underachievement among college students affecting the achievement of gifted minority students, with particular attention to Black students. Problems associated with underachievement definitions and the influence of social, cultural, and psychological factors on student achievement are discussed.

Suggestions and recommendations for reversing underachievement among gifted minority students are presented. One problem rests in the definition of giftedness; another problem rests in measurement. A related issue concerns one's definition of underachievement.

In general, underachievement is defined as a discrepancy between ability and performance. Yet, few studies have used the same definition of underachievement.

After reviewing more than publications on underachievement, Ford noted that this can be measured using any number of criteria and instruments.

School A may use an intelligence and an achievement test, school B may use an achievement test and grade point average, and school C may use an aptitude test and GPA.

In these examples, the schools have adopted a psychometric definition of underachievement, which is problematic because minority students tend not to score well on standardized tests.

Qualitative or subjective factors can also be used to identify underachievement. School D may rely on teacher expectations to determine who is underachieving. Thus, if a teacher believes that Marcus is not performing to his potential and that he can do better, Marcus would be considered an underachiever.

Teachers must consider several questions regarding the nature and extent of students' underachievement: The lack of consensus on how best to define and measure underachievement--qualitative or quantitative, amount of discrepancy, nature and extent--all make it difficult to estimate the number of gifted students who are underachieving.

Sociopsychological, family, and school factors should all be considered. Table 1 presents an initial checklist that can be used to explore factors contributing to underachievement.

Sociopsychological Factors and Underachievement Poor self-esteem and low academic and social self-concepts contribute significantly to poor student achievement. Ford, Harris, and Schuerger maintained that racial identity must also be explored with gifted minority students.

Do they have a strong, positive racial identity? Minority students who do not hold positive racial identities may be especially vulnerable to negative peer pressures; they may also equate achievement with "acting white" or "selling out" Fordham,which contributes to low effort and, thus, low achievement.

Specifically, Lindstrom and Van Sant reported that many gifted minority students must choose between need for achievement and need for affiliation.

These students often succumb to negative social pressures so that need for affiliation outweighs need for achievement. An external locus of control also hinders minority students' achievement. Students who attribute their outcomes to external factors, such as discrimination, may put forth less effort than those who attribute outcomes to internal factors, such as effort and ability Ford, ; Fordham, Minority students who do not believe in the achievement ideology, who believe that glass ceilings and injustices will hinder their achievement, are not likely to work to their potential in school.

Family-Related Factors and Underachievement Few studies have explored the influence of family variables on the achievement of gifted minority students. VanTassel-Baska focused on the role of families in the lives of 15 low socioeconomic status SES gifted students, eight of whom were Black, and many living in single-parent families.

Her findings reveal that low SES Black families held high expectations, aspirations, and standards for their children, as well as positive achievement orientations. The Black parents sought to promote self-competence and independence in their children. Parents were described as watchful of their children, hyperaware of children's accomplishments, and actively involved in developing their abilities.

ABCa nonprofit educational organization that identifies academically gifted low SES minority students as possible candidates for college preparatory secondary schools.

It was concluded that low SES gifted minority students had parents of all educational levels. Parental educational level was not a good predictor of minority students' academic performance.To examine the factors that lead to male underachievement and the measures needed to raise the achievement of boys, Clark and two doctoral students from the College of Education at UF have teamed with other teacher education and school counselor faculty and students from universities in England and Australia on an “Internationalizing the.

Underachievement is a growing concern for parents and educationists.


Inability of capable children to perform in schools has urged researchers to explore the underlying factors world-over. Some sociologists believe in-school factors are responsible for educational underachievement because of many reasons such as- subcultures, setting and streaming and Interactionism where teachers label a pupils likely performance which have an impact on that individual which can be in the form of racism.

For both samples of students, racial centrality moderated the relation between academic race stereotypes and academic self-concept: Endorsement of traditional academic stereotypes was related to lower academic self-concept only among youth for whom being African American was a central aspect of their identity.

Many high-achieving students do not question their academic success. They do well and are content with the study skills they have developed to ensure that they achieve their goals.

However, these students, whose high schools considered them achievers, experience difficulties and sometimes failure in situations where they had previously experienced success. Notes that "underachievers" often are difficult clients for counselors because of their impulsivity and because different kinds of students are categorized as such.

23 sophomore male college underachievers and control groups of overachievers (n = 22) and normal achievers (n = 10) were given biweekly interviews.

Results support the hypothesis that underachievers would be significantly more.

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