Student engagement and student characteristics as predictors of student academic achievement at Illinois community colleges
The purpose of this study was to discover which student engagement variables and student characteristics predict student academic achievement. The research utilized the standardized national Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) to examine data from 19,516 students from 13 Illinois community colleges.
The outcome of student academic achievement was measured by grade point average and total credit hours. The predictive independent variables in this study were student engagement variables from the five standardized composite CCSSE benchmarks and the 38 individual variables from those benchmarks, and student characteristics. Descriptive statistics and ordinal logistic regression were used to analyze the data.
Although four of the five student engagement CCSSE benchmarks were statistically significant for both grade point average and total credit hour, only benchmark one, active and collaborate learning, was strongly predictive for both of those outcome measures. Similarly, there were many student engagement CCSSE individual variables from benchmarks that were statistically significant for either grade point average or total credit hours, although only one individual variable (time students prepared for class) was strongly predictive for both grade point average and total credit hour. Likewise, there were several student characteristics that were statistically significant for grade point average and total credit hours, yet there was only one student characteristic (older students) that was strongly predictive for both outcome measures. In addition to the research findings, this study also illustrated the importance of examining both benchmarks and individual variables from those benchmarks.