Date of Award

Spring 1994

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services--Health Services

Committee Director

Clare Houseman

Committee Member

Gregory H. Frazer

Committee Member

Ulysses V. Spiva

Committee Member

Lindsay Rettie


The research problem for this study assessed the relationship of cognitive and noncognitive variables to the academic success of African-American versus Caucasian medical technology students attending traditionally black institutions versus majority institutions. Academic success was defined as cumulative grade point average, cumulative clinical practica grades, and graduation status. The cognitive variable was the preclinical cumulative grade point average, and the noncognitive variables were the noncognitive subscale scores.

Seventy-five senior medical technology students provided demographic data, and completed the Noncognitive Questionnaire (Tracey & Sedlacek, 1984) that assessed eight noncognitive dimensions: positive self-concept; realistic self-appraisal: understands and deals with racism; prefers long-range goals to short-term or immediate needs; availability of strong support person; successful leadership experience, demonstrating community service; and knowledge acquired in a field. Ten medical technology program directors provided academic success measures for their students.

The findings suggested that the cognitive measure, preclinical GPA, was a better predictor of academic success as measured by the cumulative GPA. The noncognitive variables: knowledge acquired in a field; realistic self-appraisal; and availability of a strong support person, were significant predictors of clinical practica grades. These same relationships were found for the two groups of students when they were compared in terms of race, and by the type of institutions they attended.

Interpretations of findings that relate to the academic success of African-American medical technology students are discussed, and recommendations for further research are presented.