Title

Achievement, Noncognitive Dimensions, and Problem-Solving Efficacy As Predictors of Academic Success for Traditional and Nontraditional-Age College Students

Date of Award

1994

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

Isolating variables that uniformly predict student success across diverse populations has been problematic for college administrators. The identification of unique indices that predict success for nontraditional and traditional-age students is the focus of this study. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between prior achievement, noncognitive dimensions, and problem solving efficacy and college success for traditional-age and nontraditional-age students. Independent variables were prior achievement, noncognitive dimensions, and problem solving efficacy as measured by English, math, and reading placement tests, the Noncognitive Questionnaire, and the Problem Solving Inventory. The criterion variables were semester grade point average and persistence. During the spring and summer of 1993, 53 nontraditional-age and 105 traditional-age students matriculating in the fall of 1993 at a community college were administered the assessment instruments. At the end of the 1993 fall semester, semester grade point averages were obtained for each group. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that the composite of the three predictors was not significantly related to college grade point average for either group. The composite of the three predictors was significantly related to persistence for traditional-age students, but not for nontraditional-age students. Independently, prior achievement was significantly related to college grade point average for nontraditional-age students and related to persistence for both groups. Noncognitive dimensions and problem solving efficacy were neither collectively nor independently related to college success for either group. Additionally, the relationship between the composite of the three predictor variables and college success was not significantly different between groups. Recommendations for further research are presented.