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ERIC Number: ED567284
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 152
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3037-8618-1
Determining Persistence of Community College Students in Introductory Geology Classes
Kraft, Katrien van der Hoeven
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University
Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) careers have been touted as critical to the success of our nation and also provide important opportunities for access and equity of underrepresented minorities (URM's). Community colleges serve a diverse population and a large number of undergraduates currently enrolled in college, they are well situated to help address the increasing STEM workforce demands. Geoscience is a discipline that draws great interest, but has very low representation of URM's as majors. What factors influence a student's decision to major in the geosciences and are community college students different from research universities in what factors influence these decisions? Through a survey-design mixed with classroom observations, structural equation model was employed to predict a student's intent to persist in introductory geology based on student expectancy for success in their geology class, math self-concept, and interest in the content. A measure of classroom pedagogy was also used to determine if instructor played a role in predicting student intent to persist. The targeted population was introductory geology students participating in the Geoscience Affective Research NETwork (GARNET) project, a national sampling of students in enrolled in introductory geology courses. Results from SEM analysis indicated that interest was the primary predictor in a students intent to persist in the geosciences for both community college and research university students. In addition, self-efficacy appeared to be mediated by interest within these models. Classroom pedagogy impacted how much interest was needed to predict intent to persist, in which as classrooms became more student centered, less interest was required to predict intent to persist. Lastly, math self-concept did not predict student intent to persist in the geosciences, however, it did share variance with self-efficacy and control of learning beliefs, indicating it may play a moderating effect on student interest and self-efficacy. Implications of this work are that while community college students and research university students are different in demographics and content preparation, student-centered instruction continues to be the best way to support student's interest in the sciences. Future work includes examining how math self-concept may play a role in longitudinal persistence in the geosciences. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A