How did the pandemic impact students’ social capital?

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Students’ access to opportunities in life largely depends on their access to diverse, supportive relationships. Now, updated Christensen Institute research illustrates the impact students’ connections and relationships have on their ability to achieve success in adulthood–and underscores the need for schools to track this data as they measure students’ progress.

The updated report augments ongoing research and provides education leaders with the tools, knowledge, and sample survey items to make important strides toward measuring students’ networks in more equitable, meaningful, and actionable ways.

Emerging research from other organizations has strengthened the need to understand just how important relationships and resources are to students, particularly as opportunity gaps grow even wider.

In 2021, nonprofit think tank Brookings Institution published “How We Rise,” which analyzes findings from a survey developed by research partner Econometrica to assess how individuals’ education, job, and housing networks impacted their chances of economic mobility.

A similar research collaboration between Strada, a national social impact organization, and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) evaluated undergraduate students’ engagement in career preparation activities, including surveying students about their participation in various social capital-building opportunities and their confidence tapping into alumni and professional networks.

Laura Ascione is the Editorial Director at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Laura Ascione
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