The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of students of color at an urban commuter university as they relate to the constructs utilized within the engagement literature and to the noncognitive student characteristics literature. Data were collected using the following instruments: William Sedlacek's Noncognitive Questionnaire (NCQ), items from the Beginning College Student Survey of Engagement (BCSSE), items from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and individual and small group interviews. The key findings of this study revealed that noncognitive characteristics assisted students in (a) internalizing messages, (b) understanding systemic processes, and (c) identifying motivating factors. These findings underscore the importance of moving away from a monolithic understanding of engagement to a more complex consideration of the ways in which students interact with the campus environment. Furthermore, this study showed the importance of providing incoming students with the opportunity to build on noncognitive personal skills, experiences, and characteristics—assets that are not measured by traditional college entrance requirements such as high school grades or standardized test scores and that often have not been seen as being directly related to academic success. This can be accomplished through the development of curricular and co-curricular experiences that include comprehensive programs and activities as they pertain to internalizing key messages, determining motivators, and understanding systemic processes.
|Advisor:||Fujimoto, Maria Oropeza|
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education, School administration, Higher education|
|Keywords:||First Year Experience, Noncognitive Characteristics, Student Engagement, Student Success, Student Transition, Under Represented Students|
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