Nina ShenkleFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Ellen L Black


Consistency, Grit, Noncognitive, Perseverance, Retention, Student Persistence


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Other Education


Student persistence in higher education has become an increasingly high priority as institutions seek to improve undergraduate completion rates. Traditionally, cognitive abilities such as aptitude and intelligence have been used to measure and predict whether a student will be successful in college. However, there is evidence that noncognitive abilities such as determination or effort are as important and as indicative of success as cognitive abilities. This nonexperimental, causal-comparative study utilized a multivariate analysis of variance to analyze archival data of 832 undergraduate students from a large private university to determine the differences between the overall grit score, perseverance of effort subscore, and consistency of interest subscore of students who persist and those who do not persist. For the purpose of this study, persistence was defined as a first-year undergraduate students’ retention at the institution from the first term to second consecutive term. No significant difference was found between students who persisted and those who did not. The findings indicate the usefulness of measuring college students’ overall grit scores and grit’s subscores in order to determine whether or not they will persist at the institution, and further opportunities are presented in order to accomplish more research on the relation of noncognitive abilities to student persistence at the college level.