Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Tom Diebold

Abstract

Traditionally, college and universities have relied on achievement indicators to estimate students' potential for success. More current researchers have demonstrated that other noncognitive factors provide incremental predictive validity to traditional achievement measures in predicting student success. This study is intended to contribute to the scholarly work in this regard by examining the mediating role that student engagement has on the relationship between Big Five personality traits and student success for Hispanic, two-year college students. First factor analysis derived four factors of engagement: Mental Activities, School Opinions, Collaborative Learning, and Student Services. Mediation models showed that there was a negative relationship between Neuroticism and GPA. This relationship was partially mediated by Mental Activities, School Opinions, and Student Services, with engagement factors mitigating the negative effect on GPA. Agreeableness was positively related to GPA (r = .222) and was partially mediated by School Opinions and Student Services. Lastly, Conscientiousness was also positively related to GPA (r = .196), and this relationship was fully mediated by all four factors of student engagement. By assessing these processes, collegesâ??particularly those with historically underserved populationsâ??can modify their practices, policies, and environments to ensure they are creating opportunities for students of all personality dispositions to succeed.

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