Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between the self-esteem and academic success of African American students in the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) at a research-extensive university in the Southern portion of the United States. The nature of the study required the use of descriptive, comparative, and correlational research methods. The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory Adult Form (CSEI-A), a 25-item dichotomous self-report questionnaire was used to measure the level of self-esteem of all respondents. CSEI-A data was collected through the use of an on-line survey program, called Zoomerang©. Data on the specific demographic and academic variables related to the objectives of this study was collected from the University’s official records in the College of Engineering. The target population of this study was defined as African American students enrolled in a Minority Engineering Program at a research extensive university in the Southern portion of the United States. A census of 260 African American engineering students was selected to participate in the study, and a total of 121 completed the on-line survey resulting in a 46.5% response rate. Overall high levels of self-esteem were demonstrated. The mean CSEI-A score was determined to be 71.64/100. Findings of the study indicated that there was a positive relationship between level of self-esteem and demographic variables, such as parent’s highest educational level completed, year of classification, cumulative GPA, and engineering major GPA. Furthermore, findings revealed that respondents with high cumulative and engineering GPA’s were found to have higher levels of self-esteem. Stepwise multiple regression analysis of dummy coded variables gender, age, year of classification, and parent’s highest educational level completed as possible predictors of CSEI-A scores revealed that year 1 students reported lower CSEI-A scores than all other students. However, year 1 students who reported their parent’s highest educational level completed as a bachelor degree or higher scored higher on the CSEI-A than year 1 students who reported their parent’s highest educational level completed as an associate degree or lower. Results from this study support the need for the inclusion of a self-esteem building component into the retention efforts of the program. The researcher also recommended that the study institution develop first-generation college student retention strategies, such as individual and group counseling, intensive orientation programs, first-year experience courses, and learning communities.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Machtmes, Krisanna