Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology & Research

Committee Chair

Leigh Harrell-Williams

Committee Member

Christian Mueller

Committee Member

Karen Kitchens

Committee Member

Dale Bowman


Mathematics achievement, both in high school and early in college, is one of the strongest predictors of college completion. Research has shown that math interest, utility, engagement, self-efficacy, and identity are related to mathematics achievement. Hence, this study uses structural equation modeling to evaluate Fords (2017) empirical model linking mathematics beliefs and achievement, which expanded on Eccles model of achievement-related choices (2005) and Middletons model of mathematics achievement (2013). This study also moves beyond the Allen (2019) limitations by exploring institutions that are different in geographic locations. With the new expanded scope, this study adds to the growing body of research specifically dedicated to exploring the elements affecting mathematics achievement at the community college level. This study also surveys students in a broad range of mathematics courses, ranging from developmental/foundational courses to college/transfer level courses. Multiple institutions are used to assess regional differences and to add to the generalizability of the results. Ultimately, this study is dedicated to understanding how student mathematical achievement at the community college level can be better understood through an assessment of five motivational constructs. The results showed that the models all exhibited reasonable model fit to the proposed model for exploring mathematics achievement at the community college level. Results also showed that there were significant differences in three paths. Both the Utility to Self-Efficacy and the Engagement to Achievement pathways were not significant with College A. Additionally, the Self-Efficacy to Engagement pathway was not significant with College A, College C and the Combined college data.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest