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Center for Student Involvement News

Co-curricular Involvement's Positive Impact on Academic Success

Posted May. 2, 2011

The Center for Student Involvement occasionally provides additional information to the university community on issues of broad interest in student affairs through the Student Involvement Brief. This feature will appear in e-Inside twice a month during the regular academic year.

During the last few busy weeks of the semester, many students are still engaged in activities around campus. Despite the notion that extracurricular activities distract students from academics, current research now indicates that this "co-curricular" involvement has a positive influence on the student's academic performance. According to a recent study on the correlation of student involvement to academic success by Ya-Rong Huang and Sheue-Mei Chang in the Journal for College Student Development, "moderate co-curricular involvement is positively associated with academic involvement and the study found that co-curricular involvement contributed to college persistence."

Studies have also shown that getting involved on a college campus is beneficial in many different ways. According to Alexander Astin, author of What Matters in College, "student to student interaction has the strongest positive effects on leadership development, overall academic development, self-reported growth in problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills and cultural awareness." Astin also found that students who are involved are less likely to be depressed and more likely to recognize their own self-worth.

Encouraging students to get involved in college life is top a priority of the Center for Student Involvement. Many resources are available to students to find out what there is to do on campus and become more engaged. The center welcomes all students and offers guidance in joining student organizations, which can help develop their leadership skills, and is always pleased to share "What's Up" on Friday and Saturday nights.

To learn more about leadership development, campus events and student organizations, visit