The great debate of college achievement: which nonacademic factors contribute most to college readiness and success?
Barbour, Randy J. Jr.
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Barbour, Randy J. Jr. 2018.The great debate of college achievement: which nonacademic factors contribute most to college readiness and success? -- In Proceedings: 14th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 12
Today, graduating from high school, enrolling in college, and obtaining a bachelor's degree are the primary means of increasing one's cultural capital and upward social mobility (Barnes and Slate, 2010). In fact, many scholars explain that "Education beyond high school is the passport to the American dream" (Symonds, Schwartz, and Ferguson, 2011, p.2). Too often, however, high school graduates enroll in colleges and universities and realize they are not completely prepared for the college environment/culture and academic rigor. Considering these findings, emphasis is being placed on which academic factors best predict college readiness and success. The traditional indicators (e.g., high school GPA, standardized test scores, etc.) continue to lose their predictive power, and it is now time to research other nontraditional, nonacademic factors (e.g., perseverance, social support, empathy, college knowledge, etc.).The aim of this study was to investigate which nonacademic factors improve the prediction of perceived college preparedness and college GPA. The study was conducted using a survey questionnaire and by analyzing the questions with statistical methods. Results indicated that nonacademic factors do improve the predictive power for regression models-including traditional academic factors-and improve the prediction of perceived college preparedness and college success. Results also indicated that students who complete all enrolled credit hours during their first semester of college is associated with greater college knowledge, feeling more confident to continue college, and earning higher college GPAs.
Presented to the 14th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 27, 2018.
Research completed in the Department of Psychology, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences