Demonstrating Grit and Resilience in a Global Pandemic

Throughout a year of extraordinary change, we marvel at our students as they courageously navigate their college experience. In unknown and adverse circumstances, our students have not cowered. They have analyzed and strategized in their pursuit of academic and personal success. Now into the third semester of remote learning, most notably ACE students have demonstrated remarkable persistence and grit during the global pandemic.

In the ACE college onboarding experience, students are taught the research of Dr. Carol Dweck. In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, students learn of two distinct mindsets: fixed vs. growth. Individuals operating with a fixed mindset typically avoid challenges and often give up in the face of adversity. Conversely, Dr. Dweck describes a growth mindset in which people have a laser focus on learning, embrace challenges, and have a healthy response after difficulty or failure.

Across a very different educational landscape, our students continue to sustain a growth mindset, including grit and resilience. Grit involves a strong character, an unconquerable spirit, and steadfast effort. ACE students are tenacious, with perseverance towards their goal or targeted outcome. Resilience is adjusting amidst a major life change, as well as bouncing back after hardship. We admire the ability of our ACE students to respond to change, with adaptability and strength.

How have ACE students exhibited grit and resilience throughout the pandemic? Grounded in the growth mindset, they utilize the four ACE Pillars. From behind computer screens, ACE students self-direct; they initiate virtual study groups, attend their professors’ office hours, and access college tutors and other campus resources. Learning remotely, ACE students self-advocate; they ask questions and get assistance based on their academic, career, and personal goals (short and long-term). While remote, ACE students continue to self-correct; they reach out to their professors, peers, and tutors for feedback and resources to improve and sustain strong academic achievement. ACE students self-manage; they take responsibility and accountability—not only for their academics but for their health and wellbeing.

ACE equips students with the mindset and tools to succeed in college and beyond, and we are privileged to walk alongside them in their journey. Amidst these unprecedented times, we are proud of their capacity to adapt to change and respond to adversity. We applaud their grit and resilience—academically and personally!

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