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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing goal intent and achievement of university learning community students
by Pfeffer-Lachs, Carole F., Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2013, 133; 3571435
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to assess the goal intent and achievement of university students, during the Fall 2011 semester, at Blue Wave University, a high research activity public institution in the southeast United States. This study merged theories of motivation to measure goal setting and goal attainment to examine if students who chose to participate in a learning community program set goals at different levels than the students who chose not to join a learning community program.

This study investigated if there was a difference in motivation, by studying goal intent and goal achievement of Freshman Learning Community participants, Living-Learning community participants, or non-learning community participants at Blue Wave University. Data were collected for 363 students who were eligible and responded to the assessment, College Assessment of Readiness for Entering Students (CARES). CARES was developed by Blue Wave University as a pretest, CARES-I (intended) and posttest, CARES-A (achieved). This study analyzed whether or not students, who are classified as First Time In College (FTIC), in the studied groups, had a difference in their level of intended goals, (responses to CARES-I), achieved goals (responses to CARES-A), and the level of change from goal intent to goal achievement (the change in student responses from CARES-I to CARES-A), during their first semester enrolled at Blue Wave University.

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to investigate the change from goal intent to goal achievement; results revealed that the level of change was not significantly different for the three groups. All three groups of students achieved fewer goals than they intended. Although the Living-Learning Community participants did not achieve all the goals they set, the ANOVA indicated that the tests were significantly different as Living- Learning Community participants set higher goals and achieved higher goals than the Freshman Learning Community participants or non-learning community participants.

Moderation analyses concluded that none the seven contextual variables (choice of college, ethnicity, gender, high school grade point average, living on-campus, SAT score, and ACT score) moderated the difference in the level of change from goal intent to goal achievement in this study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Floyd, Deborah L.
Commitee: Morris, John D., Shockley, Robert E.
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Educational Leadership and Research Methodology
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational psychology, Higher education
Keywords: Goal intent, Learning communities, Motivation, Student achievement
Publication Number: 3571435
ISBN: 978-1-303-22807-0
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