Boot camp could lower college dropout rate

Sept. 21, 2010 at 1:18 AM
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. colleges and universities, which have dropout rates of as much as 50 percent, should take a page from the military to help students, a researcher advises.

Bernardo J. Carducci, a psychology professor at Indiana University Southeast and director of its Shyness Research Institute, says the lack of connectedness is the key culprit in students not finishing their degree.

Carducci says the military understands this need to help people meet each other and get to know each other.

"It's called boot camp," Carducci says in a statement. "It's not so much designed to get you into shape. It's designed to build teams, build 'esprit de corps.' If you feel connected, you won't want to let your pals down."

Carducci, author of "The Pocket Guide to Making Successful Small Talk: How to Talk to Anyone Anytime Anywhere About Anything," advises students to join clubs and other extracurricular activities, to make friends and have fun.

Colleges and universities should facilitate helping students meet each other and feel comfortable on campus so they have the opportunities to make friends, because it increases their chances of graduating.

"Students should get to know other students in your classes," Carducci says. "If you have these friendships in class, you can turn to them when you have anxiety, uncertainty, when you want to share something with them. The point is, you want to have friends."

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