Maack, Coral (Admissions)




Stereotype Threat; Motivation; Higher education; College; Identity

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.


Stereotype threat refers to being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one’s group (Steele & Aronson, 1995). Stereotype threat is the idea that a person from a stereotyped identity needs to conform to stereotyped behaviors of their identity group. The identities one holds may hinder or enhance performance in many aspects of life.

According to, “The gap between earning the opportunity and seizing it is most pronounced among traditionally underserved minority populations. For example, only 3 out of 10 African-American students with high potential for success in AP science course work take an AP science course. “

There are many implications for people with negative stereotyped identities to understand it, and then to actually empower themselves to push beyond it. In this project, we inspire students from negative stereotyped backgrounds to look at opportunities like college and higher education as a possibility for themselves.Too often those with stereotyped identities struggle to see themselves as other than that which is expected, and we challenge them to dream bigger and fully explore their potential.


Steele, C., & Aronson, J. (1995). Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African-Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(5), 797-811.