Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Roth, Eugene||Smith, Thomas J.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Educational psychology; Community colleges


This quantitative study investigated the ability of the noncognitive characteristic of grit to predict community college student success and persistence. Grit levels were measured using the eight-item Grit-S scale that was administered to students in classes of a large suburban community college. Individual-level institutional data also were collected at the time of application and during the time students were enrolled. Community college student success was assessed using two measures: (1) students' completion of all the courses they enrolled in at the beginning of the semester, and (2) students' end-of-semester, noncumulative, grade point average. Persistence was assessed by determining students' enrollment status during the semester immediately following data collection. If students were enrolled as of the college's official census day, they were considered to have persisted. Preliminary bivariate correlations were conducted in addition to multiple linear regressions. Multiple logistic regression was performed to determine to what extent grit predicted end-of-semester grade point averages, course completion rates, and semester-to-semester persistence of community college students. The results of the study indicated that grit was a predictor of student success; "grittier" community college students were more likely than students with lower grit scores to complete the classes they enrolled in and to have higher end-of-semester grade point averages. Grit was not found to be a predictor of semester-to-semester persistence.


Advisors: Eugene Roth; Thomas Smith.||Committee members: Breckie Church.||Includes illustrations.||Includes bibliographical references.


117 pages




Northern Illinois University

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