The College Transition Collaborative

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About Us

The College Transition Collaborative helps colleges and universities reduce the academic underperformance, dropout, and diminished well-being that can be caused by psychological friction in post-secondary education. CTC researchers develop and rigorously test scalable interventions; engineer novel solutions that enable widespread use; and raise awareness about how institutions can improve student outcomes by adding a social-psychological lens to student success initiatives.

Our Research

Social Belonging

Even with identical high school credentials, students from disadvantaged backgrounds drop out of college at higher rates and earn worse grades than students from advantaged backgrounds. Research suggests that this disparity is partly attributable to students' concerns about fitting in at college. Importantly, research also suggests that these concerns can be mitigated through brief, targeted efforts. The CTC is conducting ongoing research to understand how effective such efforts can be for different student groups in varied academic settings.

Academic Standing

Almost all colleges have an academic probation process to notify students who are not making satisfactory progress. While probation is typically meant to support students' return to good standing, very little cross-institutional research exists on how students experience probation and how effective different policies and practices are in supporting student success. The CTC is working to address this gap by conducting a descriptive study on academic probation practices and, beginning in 2016-2017, conducting a randomized controlled trial with 8-12 school partners to evaluate how targeted revisions to the probation process can impact student outcomes.

College administrators: click here to contribute to our current research on academic standing!

In the News

Conquering the Freshman Fear of Failure
David L. Kirp, New York Times, August 2016

A Small Fix in Mind-Set Can Keep Students in School
Alison Gopnik, The Wall Street Journal, June 2016

Paying attention to students' psychological strain could improve outcomes
Tara Garcia Mathewson, Education Dive, June 2016

Disadvantaged students stay in college if they’re told everyone struggles
Roheeni Saxena, Ars Technica, June 2016

New research demonstrates how specific interventions can boost success of first generation and minority students in college
Jonathan Rabinovitz, Stanford Graduate School of Education News Center, May 2016

Teaching a lay theory before college narrows achievement gaps at scale
Yeager et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, May 2016
CTC Press Release

FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces Over $240 Million in New STEM Commitments at the 2015 White House Science Fair
Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, March 2015

Who Gets to Graduate?
Paul Tough, New York Times, May 2014

CTC Team

Managing Board

Christine Logel, CTC Principal Investigator, Associate Professor, Renison University College
David Yeager, CTC Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin
Greg Walton, CTC Principal Investigator, Associate Professor, Stanford University
Mary Murphy, CTC Principal Investigator, Associate Professor, Indiana University
Natasha Krol, CTC Managing Director
Dave Paunesku, Executive Director, Stanford University PERTS

Central Team

Ali Blodorn, CTC Senior Research Manager
Alice Li, CTC Senior Program Manager
Amy Petermann, CTC Research Coordinator
Peter Fisher, CTC Research Coordinator
Tsotso Ablorh, CTC Research Coordinator

Research Team

Cayce Hook, Graduate Student, Stanford University
Chris Hulleman, Research Associate Professor, University of Virginia
Christopher Lok, Graduate Student, University of Waterloo
Dustin Thoman, Associate Professor, California State University - Long Beach
Elise Ozier, Graduate Student, Indiana University
Eric Smith, Graduate Student, Stanford University
Evelyn Carter, Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University
Gregg Muragishi, Graduate Student, Stanford University
Heidi Williams, Research Assistant, Indiana University
Katie Boucher, Assistant Professor, University of Indianapolis
Katie Kroeper, Graduate Student, Indiana University
Kaitlin Emery Matthias, Lab Manager, University of Waterloo
Lisel Murdock-Perriera, Graduate Student, Stanford University
Madison Gilbertson, Research Assistant, Stanford University
Maithreyi Gopalan, Graduate Student, Indiana University
Melanie Netter, Graduate Student, University of Texas at Austin
Omid Fotuhi, Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University
Shahana Ansari, Lab Manager, Indiana University
Shannon Brady, Graduate Student, Stanford University
Stephanie Reeves, Graduate Student, University of Waterloo
Susie Chen, Graduate Student, University of Pittsburgh


Carol Dweck, Professor, Stanford University
Geoff Cohen, Professor, Stanford University
Hazel Markus, Professor, Stanford University
Judy Harackiewicz, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Steven Spencer, Professor, University of Waterloo

Our Partners

Current and Former School Partners

Albion College
Allegheny College
Bowling Green
California State University, Dominguez Hills
California State University, Northridge
The College of Wooster
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
DePauw University
Great Lakes College Association
Hope College
Kalamazoo College
Indiana State University
Indiana University
Lewis & Clark College
Michigan State
Ohio Wesleyan University
Southern Oregon University
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Central Arkansas
University of Illinois Chicago
University of Pittsburgh
University of Oregon
UT Austin
University of Waterloo
Wabash College
Yale University
Yes Prep

Partner Organizations and Foundation Support

Mindset Scholars Network


Email Inquiries
Please expect a response within one week.

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