GRIT AS A PREDICTOR OF ACADEMIC SUCCESS AND PERSISTENCE AMONG GED STUDENTS ENROLLED IN AN ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAM

Date
December 2023
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Abstract

Adult learners seeking to earn a high school equivalency (HSE), like the general education development (GED), must often overcome major difficulties to persist (Comings, 2007) and succeed academically (Hansman & Mott, 2010). Adult learners might require hundreds of hours of training in GED programs to make up for early departure in high school (Comings et al., 1999). Students who complete 100 or more hours of instruction are more likely to earn an HSE certification (Reder, 2014). However, 50% of individuals who enroll in GED programs exit before engaging in 35 hours of instruction (McDonnell & Soricone, 2014). Only 11% of adult learners in GED programs attended classes continuously for a year (Comings et al., 1999). Researchers have asserted persistence, a noncognitive skill, is critical to adult learners reaching their longterm goals (Credé et al., 2017) and academic achievement (Abuhassàn & Bates, 2015). Grit is a noncognitive skill associated with overcoming barriers, persistence, and goal commitment over an extended period of time (Duckworth, 2006). Studies have examined grit in the context of primary (Sutter et al., 2022), middle (Sturman & Zappala-Piemme, 2017), and secondary schools (Eskreis-Winkler et al., 2014). However, examining grit and its relationship to various outcomes of GED students is almost nonexistent in adult education literature (Pemberton & McCadden, 2019). The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between the eight-item Short Grit (Grit-S) Survey scores, persistence, and academic achievement, of adult learners enrolled in a GED program at a large urban nonprofit. The data were v examined using a series of chi-square tests to explore the relationship between grit (independent variable) and academic achievement and persistence (dependent variables). Grit was collapsed into three ordinal categories for comparison. The results revealed that the association between grit, academic achievement, and persistence was not statistically significant.

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Keywords
Grit, GED, Persistence
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