School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)


Matthew Swain


grit, growth mindset, TRIO Student Support Services, academic achievement, course completion rate, community college, grade point average




Low college completion rates are an unfortunate reality in the United States. Some researchers have shown that a higher level of grit assisted college students in earning a higher grade point average (GPA) and completing a college credential. My study focused on grit and its relationship to college GPA, course completion rate, and the number of activities and programs participated in during one semester, along with the interaction effects of grit with a growth mindset on GPA and course completion rate through five research questions. A survey was administered to community college students participating in a TRIO Student Support Services Program (SSS), qualifying for the program as low-income, first-generation, and/or students with disabilities. Analysis of the data obtained from the survey helped to answer the research questions using linear regression, standard multiple regression, and correlation. There was little research focusing on the relationship between grit, college GPA, and course completion rates for underserved students in TRIO SSS programs, especially at community colleges, along with few research studies that look at an interaction effect between grit and growth mindset regarding college achievement. This study was unable to provide statistically significant results to show relationships between grit, college GPA, course completion rate, or the number of TRIO SSS services and activities participated in, nor an interaction effect between grit and college completion rate on GPA & completion rate. Limitations and future research recommendations are discussed.

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