Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

Abstract

Snyder’s Hope Theory defines the construct of hope as the “sum of perceived capabilities to produce routes to desired goals, along with the perceived motivation to use those routes” (Snyder, 2000, p. 8). Hope is a tenant of positive psychology that can be used to measure personal as well as academic potential (Seligman, 2002). In fact, Lopez (2009) claims that “hope predicts GPA and retention in college, and hope scores are more robust than high school GPA, SAT, and ACT scores.” Researchers have measured the relationship between hope and academic performance in college students at four-year, baccalaureate degree granting institutions and found that more hopeful college students tend to perform better academically than those students that are less hopeful (Anderson, 1988; Harney, 1989; Curry, Snyder, Cook, Ruby, & Rehm, 1997; Snyder, Rand, & Sigmon, 2002; Gallagher & Lopez, 2008; Bressler, Bressler, & Bressler, 2010; Day, Hanson, Maltby, Proctor, & Wood, 2010). Little is known about the relationship between hope and academic performance as it pertains to the large number of students who attend community colleges, and the researcher used a quantitative design to answer the following research questions: 1. What is the hope level of first-time, first-year community college students during their first semester of study as measured by the Hope Scale (Snyder et al., 1991)? 2. What are the demographic characteristics of first-time, first-year community college students at varying levels of demonstrated hope?

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