Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


Date of this Version


Document Type



A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Studies (Educational Leadership and Higher Education). Under the Supervision of Professor Ronald Joekel
Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2009
Copyright (c) 2009 Jacquelyn R. Elliott


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between involvement in formal, college-sponsored, co-curricular programs and student success and development at the community college, with success defined as grade point average and overall student satisfaction with the college experience and with development defined as self-confidence, ability to manage emotions, and emotional independence from parents. The study took place at three public community colleges located in central Kansas. Ninety-four community college students who were involved in one of three formal, college-sponsored, co-curricular programs during their freshman year (student government, a service oriented program -- Phi Theta Kappa, and intercollegiate athletics) were compared to 96 of their peers who were not involved in a formal, college-sponsored program of this type.

All students in the sample completed a survey that consisted of demographic, grade point average, satisfaction, involvement questions, and the Iowa Student Development Inventories of Developing Competence Self-Confidence Subscale, Managing Emotions, and Developing Autonomy Emotional Independence from Parents Subscale (Hood & Jackson, 1997a, 1997b, 1997c). Analyses consisted of evaluating the relationship between the variables.

Some marginal relationships were found among the groups; however, the analysis of the group membership and outcome measures controlled for these demographic differences. The analysis indicated that students involved in formal, college-sponsored, co-curricular programs had significantly higher grade point averages and satisfaction with the college experience. In addition, the involved students proved to be more self-confident, better able to manage emotions, and more emotionally independent from parents. The results substantiate consistent findings in the literature that the involvement in college- or university-sponsored co-curricular programs has a positive impact on student success and development.

Adviser: Ronald Joekel

Included in

Education Commons