In general, being identified as not college-ready may discourage students and cause these students to view themselves as not “college material.” This, in turn, may diminish their college aspirations (Scott-Clayton and Rodriguez) and result in them being less actively engaged in their learning. Active engagement and developing a sense of community play important roles in student persistence (Jacobs and Archie). When students are motivated, they are more likely to engage in authentic learning (qtd. in Nguyen). Research indicates that learner motivation is directly linked to success in math and that focused instruction that addresses learner mindsets can have an impact on student success in math (Benken et al.; Silva and White 12).
When student motivation is increased, student math success increases (Nguyen). Many students, especially at-risk students like those in our target population, struggle with motivation because they must “expend great amounts of effort to succeed in a mathematics course” (Nguyen and Goodin 48). This means that the students are less likely to persist in a subject when it gets difficult (Nguyen and Goodin 48) and are more likely to give up (Nguyen and Goodin 76). Soar Towards Success will target the core behavior of motivation and teach students how to develop both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation so that they are more likely to persist when faced with difficulties. This should result in students who are better prepared for future courses, including their first math class.