The relationship between non-cognitive skills and the academic achievement of African American males in community colleges


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The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine the relationship between non-cognitive skills and academic achievement in the form of course completion rate and cumulative GPA of African American male community college students. Eight non-cognitive variables were measured compared to the course completion rate and cumulative GPA of the study subjects. Study participants were 102 African American males attending Midwest community colleges in urban settings with 10,000 or more student enrollment. Sedlacek’s (2004) Non-cognitive Assessment method identified eight non-cognitive variables (NCV) and served as the conceptual framework for the investigation. Participants completed the Non-cognitive Questionnaire (NCQ), an instrument created by Sedlacek (2004) to measure the eight non-cognitive variables. Questionnaire data were matched to individual student course completion rates and cumulative GPA records. Pearson product-moment correlational analyses were performed on the data to determine which of the eight non-cognitive variables were related to the participants' course completion rate and cumulative GPA. The results showed that course pass rate was significantly correlated with non-cognitive variable #6 (successful leadership experience, r = .230, p < .05), and with non-cognitive variable #4 (preference for long term goals, r = .203, p < .05). None of the non-cognitive variables contributed to the prediction of cumulative GPA. Additionally, a stepwise linear regression analysis was calculated to determine non-cognitive variables most predictive of course completion rate and cumulative GPA. No additional results were found when the non-cognitive variables were entered into a linear, stepwise multiple regression equation. Variable #6 (successful leadership experience) was the only non-cognitive variable contributing to the prediction of Pass Rates.



Cognitive skills, Non-cognitive variables, Non-cognitive questionnaire, Academic performance predictors, Community college, African American males

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Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership

Major Professor

Christine Johnson McPhail