Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Suzanne Franco (Committee Member), Tim Littell (Committee Member), Carol Patitu (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


The intention of this study was to determine what, if any, non-cognitive factors affect student performance in core composition courses. "Non-cognitive factor" is a term referring to non-academic and non-intellectual characteristics of a student's experience. These factors may be emotional, environmental, psychosocial, etc. Some prior research has been conducted on non-cognitive factors relating to admission of minority populations, but this research is likely to be outdated. Six potential non-cognitive factors were proposed for this study: Confidence, Motivation, Socioeconomic Class, Emotional Support, Campus Climate, and Living Situation. The results of this study indicated that non-cognitive factors do influence student performance in composition courses, although the data were limited based upon the respondent population's characteristics. Respondents reported both positive and negative forms of impact from non-cognitive factors. Each of the factors did have some level of impact for the majority of respondents, with the exception of Socioeconomic Class, for which a negative effect was reported by some respondents but was considered to have no effect for the majority.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations

Year Degree Awarded