Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Me? Pass up the chance to blog about research in a journal with 'economics' in the title? Never! And an article in an economics journal, about sexual orienation and student success in college - how fabulous is that?
The article, Sexual Orientation and Outcomes in College, in Economics of Education Review, is the first study of gay, lesbian, and bisexual college student achievement. This research design utilizes the Harvard College Alcohol Study (CAS) – the only large, nationally representative source of data on college students that asks directly about same-sex sexual behavior – to explore ways a student’s sexual orientation may impact college outcomes. Measures of college success included academic achievement, employment while in school, social capital/connectedness, time use patterns, and attitudes about the importance of participating in various extracurricular activities.
The findings of the study are interesting and highlight key, but complicated, links between sexual orientation and college outcomes. And for those of you out there interested in research methods and design, check out the novel way this data was collected and cross-tabbed.
The bottom-line -
- LGB students can and do succeed in educational environments - in some instances more so than their heterosexual peers;
- college “success” can have multiple meanings – leadership in student organizations, the arts, or politics on one’s resume can be as compelling to potential employers as grade point averages.
Study hard. Then don't forget to play hard out on the field, try out a student organization or two, and take in some of the many opportunities the campus has to offer. You have a lot to offer, and our campus is a better place because you are here! Don't be too cool for school.
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