Document Type



Higher Education Administration

First Advisor's Name

Glenda Droogsma Musoba

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jean Rahier

Third Advisor's Name

Janice Sandiford

Fourth Advisor's Name

Joan Wynne

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to determine hope’s unique role, if any, in predicting persistence in a developmental writing course. Perceived academic self-efficacy was also included as a variable of interest for comparison because self-efficacy has been more widely studied than hope in terms of its non-cognitive role in predicting academic outcomes. A significant body of research indicates that self-efficacy influences academic motivation to persist and academic performance. Hope, however, is an emerging psychological construct in the study of non-cognitive factors that influence college outcomes and warrants further exploration in higher education. This study examined the predictive value of hope and self-efficacy on persistence in a developmental writing course. The research sample was obtained from a community college in the southeastern United States. Participants were 238 students enrolled in developmental writing courses during their first year of college. Participants were given a questionnaire that included measures for perceived academic self-efficacy and hope. The self-efficacy scale asked participants to self-report on their beliefs about how they cope with different academic tasks in order to be successful. The hope scale asked students to self-report on their beliefs about their capability to initiate action towards a goal (“agency”) and create a plan to attain these goals (“pathways”). This study utilized a correlational research design. A statistical association was estimated between hope and self-efficacy as well as the unique variance contributed by each on course persistence. Correlational analysis confirmed a significant relationship between hope and perceived academic self-efficacy, and a Fisher’s z-transformation confirmed a stronger relationship between the agency component of hope and perceived academic self-efficacy than for the pathways component. A series of multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess if (a) perceived self-efficacy and hope predict course persistence, (b) hope independent of self-efficacy predicts course persistence, and (c) if including the interaction of perceived self-efficacy and hope predicts course persistence. It was found that hope was only significant independent of self-efficacy. Some implications for future research are drawn for those who lead and coordinate academic support initiatives in student and academic affairs.





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