This study explores a variety of variables with the intent of identifying specific student groups that may struggle with performance in a large general education course. The ultimate objective of this study is to facilitate the success of acknowledged at-risk students. Drawing in part on the theory of social capital, this study examines established, pre-college predictors such as high school grade point averages and ACT scores, other demographic characteristics and stressors, and an optional study group course to parse out information related to course performance. Methods used included t-tests and multiple regression analysis using five statistical models. A portion of the Student-Life Stress Inventory (Gadzella, 1994) was sent to students to gather primary data. A total of 1,626 students completed the survey: 957 female and 669 male. Demographic information was obtained from the university. After controlling for factors such race, sex, estimated household income, parent educational level, and self-reported stress, findings identified differences in course performance based on specific student characteristics. The findings of this study highlight the importance of pre-college predictors and course related features in individual student performance, while acknowledging the implications of race, first-generation status, and other demographic factors. These findings may help inform universities as they identify and implement supports for academically at- risk student populations in large university courses.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Betts, Kristen C., "An Exploration and Identification of Factors That Predict Performance in a Large General Education Course in Higher Education" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9602.
college students, first generation college students, undergraduate study