The influence of student demographics and internal characteristics on GPA, persistence, and academic success of first-time college students
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Employing a non-experimental, ex-post facto design, the study examined the relationship of student demographic information and internal characteristics identified from the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) to student persistence, grade point average, and academic success. Cognitive Learning Theory (CLT), which focuses on the internal processes that take place in the mind as learning occurs, provided the theoretical framework for the study. Participants in the study were selected from a non-random sample of entering First Time in College (FTIC) students enrolled in a Student Development class at a large, urban, South Texas community college. Data were analyzed by utilizing descriptive analysis, a one-way ANOVA, t-test, Pearson's product-moment correlation, and chi-square test of independence to examine the relationship of student demographic data and student internal characteristics to student persistence, grade point average, and student academic success. Results of this study suggested a student's academic success is influenced by the interaction of multiple factors. Academic advising, the ethnic and gender make up of faculty compared to students, as well as a student's full or part-time enrollment status can all influence a student's academic success. The LASSI is able to provide a snapshot of a student's internal characteristics such as attitude, motivation, and strategic learning skills, however the LASSI alone cannot be used as an indicator of student success.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.