Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Higher Education

Committee Director

Dana Burnett

Committee Member

J. Worth Pickering

Committee Member

James Calliotte


Institutions across the country and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are continuously looking for ways to improve the academic success and retention of students. Most research focuses on the use of cognitive factors as predictors; however, there has been an increase in the use of non-cognitive factors in this research. This study used logistical regression in the examination of non-cognitive, cognitive, and demographic factors as predictors of academic success and retention of Division I first year student-athletes at a large, public, moderately selective, research extensive institution. The population consisted of 275 students who participated in 16 intercollegiate teams. The Transition to College Inventory provided non-cognitive data for each of the participants. The cognitive factors included high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores. The analysis also included the demographic variables of race, gender, socioeconomic status, and sport revenue status. The results indicate that the TCI Index, as well as self-confidence, institutional commitment and independent activity focus can assist in the prediction o f academic success when used individually. However, high school GPA provides the best prediction. Retention is most accurately predicted by students’ first year cumulative GPA. The results of this study show both similarities and differences with prior research, which indicates a need for further research related to the student-athlete population. Universities and the NCAA can use the results of this study to enhance the resources available to student-athletes designed to improve their academic performance and persistence.