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An Examination of Learner Autonomy and Student Persistence in a Community College Open Access

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Abstract of Dissertation Examination of Learner Autonomy and Student Persistence in Community CollegeThe purpose of this dissertation was to determine whether the College Student Inventory (CSI) or the Learner Autonomy Profile (LAP) was a better predictor of student behavior as it relates to student persistence in a community college. The CSI is an instrument that measures the motivational traits and background factors that are related to student academic outcomes. The dropout proneness scale of the CSI has been found to be effective in identifying students that are dropout prone in two year institutions (Stratil, 2001). The LAP is an instrument that determines an individual's level of the behavioral factors (desire, resourcefulness, initiative and persistence) as well as the individual's level of basic skills that are required to participate in self directed learning (Confessore & Park, 2004). This study used a quantitative method design and employed the use of a cross-sectional survey to determine which instrument is a stronger predictor of student persistence in a community college. Quantitative data pertaining to the predictions of student persistence among first semester freshmen matriculating in a community college was gathered utilizing the CSI and the LAP. The population for this study was comprised of 104 first-semester freshmen matriculating in a southeastern Virginia community college. Although, the LAP rendered more accurate predictions of student persistence than the CSI, the results of the study indicated that the CSI and the LAP were not effective in predicting student persistence among first semester freshmen matriculating in community college.

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