Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Timothy Atkinson

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Joe Cardot

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Mark McCallon


Cognitive factors, such as standardized test scores and high school grade point average, have historically been used to predict college success. Many colleges and universities place great importance on these cognitive factors when making admissions decisions. However, enrollment leaders question the predictive validity of these factors due to recent studies advocating for the use of noncognitive assessments. The purpose of this study was to examine the role that noncognitive attributes have in predicting college student success and whether their predictive power is greater than that of standardized test scores and high school grade point average. This study employed a quantitative methodology using a correlational predictive research design. The study investigated the Student Strengths Inventory (SSI) assessment results on 1,104 first-year students at a mid-sized public regional comprehensive university in the southeast United States. The SSI results were analyzed to determine if the SSI noncognitive subscales (educational commitment, academic engagement, academic self-efficacy, resiliency, social comfort, and campus engagement) predict first-year grade point average and retention better than standardized test scores and high school grade point average. The study’s findings showed that academic self-efficacy, academic engagement, resiliency, campus engagement, high school GPA, and SAT score were statistically significant in predicting first-year GPA. The study’s second finding showed that the only significant predictor of retention was high school GPA. Implications of this study are to quantify the role that noncognitive attributes have in predicting student success and how higher education institutions might assess these variables as part of the admissions process.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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