The impact of incoming student characteristics and college environment on community college student success
The primary purpose of this study was to identify incoming student characteristics and college environment variables predictive of student success at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC). Using the I-E-O model developed by Astin, the researcher investigated input variables of prior academic achievement, gender, race, personality type, age, socio-economic status, and educational goal; environmental variables of full or part time attendance, on or off campus classes, commuter or dormitory residence, major area of study, goal congruence, student involvement, and student satisfaction; and student success measured by self-assessment, grade point average, and ratio of number of hours completed to number of hours attempted;Three null hypotheses were derived from the research questions concerning which incoming student characteristics predicted student success, which environmental variables predicted student success, and which independent variables were correlated;The population for this study was comprised of all first time enrollees at North Iowa Area Community College, a rural mid-western community college for the Fall 1991 term (1,019 students). Data on each student in the sample was derived from student registration records, permanent records, admission applications, and the ACT Student Opinion Survey - 2 year form administered the final month of school in the Spring of 1992. Return rate of the survey was 43%;In keeping with Astin's methodology, a stepwise multiple regression was used to identify incoming student characteristics predictive of student success. A second multiple regression procedure identified college environment variables predictive of success. Pearson correlation was used to test the third hypothesis;Data analysis resulted in all three hypotheses being rejected. High prior academic achievement, race, age, and the "thinking" function of the Thinking/Feeling scale on the MBTI had significant positive correlations to success, while gender and high socio-economic status were negative. Goal congruence was the only environmental variable that was significant. The relationship between success and goal congruence was negative. Significant correlations between the independent variables included age negatively correlated with high prior academic achievement, high socioeconomic status, satisfaction, and dormitory residence; and positively correlated with part time student status and vocational major. Gender (male) was positively correlated to the "thinking" function of the MBTI. High prior academic achievement was negatively correlated with borderline academic achievement, "intuition" on the MBTI, general satisfaction, and dorm residence. Extraversion was positively correlated to dorm residence and negatively correlated to off campus classes. Goal congruence was positively correlated to general satisfaction. Conclusions and recommendations for further study were included.