Predictors of college success among African-American, Caucasian, and Hispanic students
Johnston, Candice Globuschutz
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College students are more diverse today than any other time in the history of higher education. The challenge for students has gradually shifted from that of gaining access to higher education to that of persistence and achieving the goal of graduation. This study examined college success by exploring (1) achievement motivation, (2) student rapport rating with peers, (3) student rapport rating with instructors, (4) grade point average. Each of these items was evaluated across ethnic groups, which include: African-American, Caucasian, and Hispanic student. This study explored the relationship between achievement motivation, rapport rating with peers, rapport rating with instructors, and grade point average within the context of a mid-sized, public university campus in the southwestern portion of the United States. The Student Attitudes and Perceptions Survey as developed by Dr. Amy Strage was used as the assessment instrument. The key research questions were these: 1) Is there a relationship between self-reported grade point average and achievement motivation across ethnic groups? 2) Is there a relationship between self-reported grade point average and rating of rapport with peers across ethnic groups? 3) Is there a relationship between self-reported grade point average and rating of rapport with instructors across ethnic groups? Current predictors of student success are not comprehensive, therefore other predictors of student success needed to be studied. Having a better understanding of why some students succeed while others do not, aids in serving students and potentially increases retention and graduation rates. Analyses were conducted using regression, correlations, and MANOVAs to determine the relationship between grade point average and predictors of student success across ethnic groups. The findings demonstrate a statistically significant relationship between achievement motivation and grade point average, between rating of rapport with peers and grade point average, as well as rating of rapport with instructors and grade point average. No difference was found across ethnic groups when measuring achievement motivation, rating of rapport with peers, rating of rapport with instructors and grade point average.