Title

Making the grade : a comparison study of pre-college academic success predictors of first-year academic performance of student-athletes at a public and private Institution in the Midwest

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership

Department

Department of Educational Leadership

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: Barbara M. De Luca

Abstract

The purpose of this study was three-fold. The first purpose was to examine if there was a difference in the academic success of 239 first-year student-athletes between the type of institution they attended, public or private. These student-athletes represented 12 intercollegiate varsity sports at two NCAA Division I institutions in the Midwest during the 2007-2009 academic years, and the study used the five pre-college predictor variables of NCAA GPA, standardized test scores, gender, race, and institution type. The second purpose was to determine which of these predictor variables were statistically significant in predicting academic success of student-athletes by sport. The third purpose was to predict how well these predictor variables could distinguish between student-athletes attending the public institution and student-athletes attending the private institution. The study found that student-athletes at the private institution entered the institution with a better overall academic profile than did the student-athletes at the public institution as related to the predictor variables of high school GPA, NCAA GPA, ACT scores, SAT scores, and first-year college cumulative GPA. The statistically significant relationships between the predictors variables correlated between r = .94 and r = .17. Several stepwise multiple regression analyses were conducted to predict first-year academic success. The study concluded that, when ACT and SAT scores are included, separately, in the model with the predictor variables, then NCAA GPA, ACT scores, gender, and race are statistically significant predictors for student-athletes attending the public institution, while NCAA GPA and ACT scores are statistically significant predictors for student-athletes attending the private institution. NCAA GPA, SAT scores, and gender are statistically significant predictors for student-athletes attending the public institution, and NCAA GPA and SAT scores are statistically significant predictors for student-athletes attending the private institution. Together, these findings suggest that Non-White female student-athletes are predicted to have a higher first-year cumulative GPA than any other student-athlete at the public institution when ACT scores are added to the model, and female student-athletes are predicted to have a higher first-year cumulative GPA than any other student-athlete when SAT scores are added to the model. A stepwise discriminant analysis was conducted to predict how well the predictor variables distinguish between the public and private institutions. Based on the findings, NCAA GPA, standardized test scores, and race are the statistically significant variables in the model. Overall, 66.9% of the student-athletes in the study were classified correctly into public and private institution. The student-athletes attending the public institution were classified with slightly better accuracy (67.9%) than the student-athletes attending the private institution (66.2%).

Keywords

College athletes Middle West Knowledge and learning Case studies, Prediction of scholastic success Middle West Case studies, Private universities and colleges Middle West Case studies, Public universities and colleges Middle West Case studies, College freshmen Middle West Knowledge and learning Case studies, Higher education administration; sports management; student-athlete; National Collegiate Athletic Association; NCAA; first-year academic success; predictors of academic success

Rights Statement

Copyright 2013, author

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