Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Mitchell R. Williams

Committee Member

Christopher R. Glass

Committee Member

Linda Bol


Standard assessments of cognitive ability have been the preferred method of assessing the probability of student achievement at community colleges, but there is a growing trend in the use of noncognitive factors to assess student potential. Factors related to a student’s race/ethnicity and family income have been shown to be correlated with placement tests scores and high school grades. There is a gap in the literature about the use of noncognitive measures in conjunction with standardized placement tests to predict the achievement and persistence of community college students. The purpose of this study was to examine the strength of cognitive and noncognitive measures of placement to predict the achievement and persistence. The researcher used hierarchical linear regression analyses with Sedlacek’s Non-Cognitive Questionnaire (NCQ), SAT or multiple measures, and demographic data as independent variables and first semester GPA and persistence to second year as dependent variables. Data were further analyzed for descriptive statistics, collinearity and normal distribution.

Noncognitive factors knowledge acquired in a field and realistic self-appraisal were positive correlated with GPA across race/ethnicity. Work hours were negatively correlated with academic success, as was placement at the lowest level through multiple measures due to low high school GPA. Results differed in some ways from previous literature, finding self-reported leadership experience negatively correlated with student persistence. It is recommended that institutional leaders promote practices and services such as flexible schedules, financial support structures, and proficiency-based pedagogy.


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Copyright, 2022, by David Harris Lerman, All Rights Reserved.