Presenters: Dr. Laura Lynch, Dr. Aurora I. Ramos Nuñez, Dr. Neda Moinolmolki, Dr. Courtènay Miller, Dr. Cailín Noble, & Dr. Claire Hughes
Titles: AVP Faculty Affairs & Associate Professor of Mathematics; Assistant Professor of Psychology; Assistant Professor of Psychology; Associate Professor of Mathematics; Lecturer of Mathematics; Associate Professor of Education
Departments: Mathematics & Data Science; Social Sciences; Education & Teacher Preparation
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Research has identified a myriad of factors related to college students’ academic success, including growth mindset, sense of belonging, as well as student demographics such as race, ethnicity, culture, and socioeconomic status. Despite these strides, underlying academic motives, such as bringing honor to one’s family or making a higher income, have not been fully explored. The present study examined the relationship between mindset components on our students’ success, through a survey distributed to first-time freshmen during the first three weeks of the fall 2018 and fall 2019 semester. Four hundred and forty-three CCGA students, ages 17 - 67, participated in this study. Our sample included 61% white Caucasians, 22% African Americans, 8% Hispanic/Latino, 9% other/unknown. Pearson correlational analyses showed that college success (GPA) was positively associated with age, Math and English growth mindset, academic preparedness, and was negatively correlated with family pride, perceiving to make a higher income, bringing honor to one’s family, interdependence motives, and college belonging uncertainty. Two multiple regressions were assessed: one on the entire sample, and one, specifically looking at the Caucasian demographic (Sample sizes were insufficient to limit to other races). The multiple regression conducted on the entire sample revealed Math growth mindset, academic preparedness, and family pride to contribute significantly to GPA. Meanwhile, the multiple regression conducted on the Caucasian demographic only revealed Math growth mindset and academic preparedness to contribute significantly to GPA, which may imply family pride is a significant contributor for non-Caucasian students. Our research question was to examine whether growth mindset, purpose and relevance, and social belonging contributed to the variance in explaining college success in incoming freshman. The results of the current study demonstrated that Math growth mindset, a subset of social belonging (perceived academic preparedness), and an underlying academic motivation of family pride contributed significantly to college success.