Title page for ETD etd-11042009-102505

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Harris, Sandra Latrice
URN etd-11042009-102505
Title The Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Academic Success Among African American Students in the Minority Engineering Program at A Research Extensive University in the Southern Portion of the United States
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Machtmes, Krisanna Committee Chair
Burnett, Michael Committee Member
Fox, Janet Committee Member
Friedel, Curtis Committee Member
Mitchell, Roland Dean's Representative
  • self-esteem
  • minority engineering program
  • african american college students
Date of Defense 2009-10-12
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between the self-esteem and academic success of African American students in the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) at a research-extensive university in the Southern portion of the United States. The nature of the study required the use of descriptive, comparative, and correlational research methods.

The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory Adult Form (CSEI-A), a 25-item dichotomous self-report questionnaire was used to measure the level of self-esteem of all respondents. CSEI-A data was collected through the use of an on-line survey program, called Zoomerang©. Data on the specific demographic and academic variables related to the objectives of this study was collected from the Universityís official records in the College of Engineering.

The target population of this study was defined as African American students enrolled in a Minority Engineering Program at a research extensive university in the Southern portion of the United States. A census of 260 African American engineering students was selected to participate in the study, and a total of 121 completed the on-line survey resulting in a 46.5% response rate. Overall high levels of self-esteem were demonstrated. The mean CSEI-A score was determined to be 71.64/100.

Findings of the study indicated that there was a positive relationship between level of self-esteem and demographic variables, such as parentís highest educational level completed, year of classification, cumulative GPA, and engineering major GPA. Furthermore, findings revealed that respondents with high cumulative and engineering GPAís were found to have higher levels of self-esteem. Stepwise multiple regression analysis of dummy coded variables gender, age, year of classification, and parentís highest educational level completed as possible predictors of CSEI-A scores revealed that year 1 students reported lower CSEI-A scores than all other students. However, year 1 students who reported their parentís highest educational level completed as a bachelor degree or higher scored higher on the CSEI-A than year 1 students who reported their parentís highest educational level completed as an associate degree or lower.

Results from this study support the need for the inclusion of a self-esteem building component into the retention efforts of the program. The researcher also recommended that the study institution develop first-generation college student retention strategies, such as individual and group counseling, intensive orientation programs, first-year experience courses, and learning communities.

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