National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Fall 2003


Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 4:2, Fall/Winter 2003. Copyright © 2003 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


A positive freshman year experience is critical for student persistence and longterm success in college (Tinto, 1975; Tinto & Goodsell,1993). Recently, institutions have begun to recognize that student factors beyond demographics, academic records, and standardized test scores influence the likelihood of a positive freshman year experience (Levitz & Noel, 1989). “Emotional intelligence” is one such factor which is instrumental in situations that call upon students to adjust successfully from one environment to another (Hettich, 2000). While there is some data on the personality characteristics of college Honors students (Grangaard, 2003), to our knowledge no data have been collected on their emotional intelligence. Therefore, we designed this study to investigate two hypotheses. First, we wondered whether Honors college freshmen differed from their non-Honors peers in emotional intelligence. Second, we were interested in determining whether measures of emotional intelligence were predictive of first-semester college GPAs in addition to traditional predictors such as SAT scores and high-school GPAs.