Using Poverty Simulation for College Students: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation

Maureen Todd, Maria Rosario T. de Guzman, Xiaoyun Zhang


This paper speaks to the potential for simulation and experience-based educational programs in delivering changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, as well as the utility of mixed-methods approaches to program evaluation. The authors discuss a mixed-methods study which evaluates the impact of a poverty simulation program on college students at three Midwestern universities. Findings suggest multiple benefits of the experience, including changes in attitudes and beliefs about how serious the experience of poverty can be, an understanding that poverty is complex and can be caused by multiple factors, and a decrease in their biases and stereotypes about people in poverty. Qualitative findings corroborate these data.

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