Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and describe how deaf and hard of hearing college graduates perceive the extent to which Farrington’s (2012) five noncognitive factors influenced their ability to successfully complete a four-year college degree.
Methodology: This phenomenological study identified and described the extent to which noncognitive factors influenced deaf and hard of hearing college graduates’ ability to successfully attain their college degree. Eight participants were selected through purposeful sampling based on criteria including being a resident in California and graduating with a four-year college degree between 2017 and 2020. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews using an Interview Protocol. Responses from participants were prioritized and data was coded for themes.
Findings: The findings from this study show that all participants agreed that each of Farrington’s noncognitive factors influenced their ability to successfully complete a four-year college degree. Participants shared examples that related to positive academic performance and the five noncognitive factors of academic behaviors, academic perseverance, academic mindsets, learning strategies, and social skills. Findings included a hierarchy of perceived degree of importance for each factor.
Conclusions: The findings and literature review support that noncognitive factors positively relate to academic performance and postsecondary success. Results indicate that deaf and hard of hearing college graduates can overcome barriers by using noncognitive skills to help them attain their college degree. Findings include that deaf and hard of hearing college graduates utilized academic behaviors, persevered through barriers and expectations, demonstrated positive academic mindsets, utilized learning strategies that work for them, and valued social skills.
Recommendations for Action: The researcher recommends increasing awareness in families, caregivers, transition organizations, policy makers and decision makers in the benefits of noncognitive skills for deaf and hard of hearing students through workshops and formal presentations. Recommendations also include to create and teach noncognitive skills curriculum to deaf and hard of hearing middle school, high school and college students. Professional development should be provided to educators and academic counselors on the importance of noncognitive skills in education.
Swenson, Cindi, "Noncognitive Factors: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Graduates’ Perceived Influence on College Readiness" (2020). Dissertations. 357.