Helping First-Year Students Get Grit: The Impact of Intentional Assignments on the Development of Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance
Author(s): Olson, J. S.
Citation: Olson, J. S. (2017). Helping First-Year Students Get Grit: The Impact of Intentional Assignments on the Development of Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 29(1), 99-118.
College student persistence is of the most challenging issues currently facing higher education. This study is an exploration of grit, tenacity, and perseverance as demonstrated by 43 first-year students at a small, teaching-intensive university in South Texas in response to two required exercises assigned in a first-year seminar. Student assignments showed all three of these characteristics, with some differences between first-generation college students and non-first-generation college students. Further analysis revealed themes of engaging with the assignment, evidencing grit, persevering past hurdles, and understanding what was learned. The study suggests that intentional assignments in a first-year seminar class can facilitate the development of grit, tenacity, and perseverance. Implications for first-year seminar instructors are presented.