Determining undergraduate student nontraditional risk classification based on student motivational tendencies
De-Merritt, Stanley L.
Students in United States higher education increasingly demonstrate nontraditional characteristics. These characteristics include being married, having dependents in the household, maintaining full-time employment, enrolling as a part-time student, and delaying entry into higher education from secondary education. Determining the impact of motivational tendencies of students on these nontraditional characteristics was the focus of this study. Surveys of undergraduate students from three universities in the southern region of the United States provided data for demographic and nontraditional characteristics in conjunction with the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS-C28) to determine motivational tendencies. A discriminant function analysis was performed to measure whether motivational tendencies could classify students into risk categories (minimum risk being zero to one characteristic, moderate risk with two or three characteristics, and high risk exhibiting four or more characteristics) based on nontraditional attributes. The findings of the analysis resulted in the rejection of the hypothesis in that motivation tendencies did not classify students into risk classifications based on nontraditional characteristics. However, the two functions of the discriminant analysis uncovered distinct behavioral patterns for moderate risk students and high risk students. Moderate risk students portrayed fewer tendencies to accept educational regulations while high risk students were less likely to have a freedom of choice to participate in educational processes.
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