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Early Prevention of Dropout from Higher Education (PraeventAbb)
Initial registration date
March 23, 2018
March 23, 2018 10:49 AM EDT
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University of Cologne, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Cologne Graduate School/University of Cologne
University of Cologne
University of Cologne
Additional Trial Information
In this study, we will evaluate a study guidance intervention for secondary school students aimed at reducing drop-out from tertiary education by tackling information deficits concerning suitable study programs as well as fostering academic self-efficacy and developing a growth-mind-set. Professional study counselors will deliver the intervention within an intensive one-day study guidance workshop. We will implement a randomized trial at the individual level and study the effects of the workshop on incremental beliefs of intelligence/ability, self-efficacy, study intentions and study choice as well as on academic achievement and drop out from tertiary education. The empirical analysis will be based on experimental data gathered immediately before the intervention and at different time points after the intervention for up to three years.
The intervention consists of a one-day study-counseling workshop led by professional study counselors in the region of Cologne and Düsseldorf, Germany. Sample: students that will graduate from secondary school in the school year 2018/2019.
The intervention comprises multiple components:
1) Self-assessment of abilities, interests and life values
2) Providing information on study fields and promoting independent information-seeking
3) conveying the idea of a growth mindset and fostering academic self-efficacy
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
In secondary school: academic self-efficacy, incremental beliefs about intelligence/ability, study intentions, grades, career decision self-efficacy, study-specific self-efficacy
In higher education: academic achievement and engagement, study program satisfaction, (intention to) drop-out of tertiary education
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We employ a field-experiment with pre-post design. Participants are randomly assigned to treatment and control group immediately after they have registered for the trial and completed the first survey (pre-treatment information).
Experimental Design Details
We employ a simple randomization which implemented directly in the survey tool (Qualtrics).
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
50 workshops, 100 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
480 pupils in treatment group, 720 pupils in control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)