Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Stumpf, Arthur D.

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher Clayton

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


One of the aims of this study was to look at the difference in self-concept between traditional and non-traditional community college students. This study also examined self-concept differences based on ethnicity and gender and focused specifically on community college students in one or more developmental courses. Students from developmental math, reading, and English classes were given the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale: Second Edition survey (see Appendix B for a list of the questions on the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale: Second Edition). Students were asked to complete the long form consisting of 82 questions using Likert Scale responses from 1-Always False to 5-Always True. The results showed that among the 135 developmental students participating in this study, the total self-concept score did not differ statistically between traditional and non-traditional students. This study did, however, show that the mean value score for Black students was statistically significant and higher when compared to White students. All other ethnic groups were statistically equal. There was also no statistical difference in self-concept score based on gender. The overall self-concept score mean value fell in the 29th percentile for the students in the survey. This was well below the desired 50th percentile range between 296 and 299 as the cutoff point for high self-concept as referenced in the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale: Second Edition Profile chart for the Adult Form. Based on the results of this study, the self-concept score was proven to be a bi-product of student background and academic success. Self-concept can be a valuable pre-test and post-test tool for measuring the impact of developmental programs. Academic success raises self-concept, and given the statistical significance of the difference between the scores of Black developmental students and White developmental students, more research is warranted. The results from this study of developmental students provide additional support for the use of a self-concept score as a pre-test and post-test metric. Other than the pass or fail grade that a student may receive, the self-concept score can be used as a reliable way of measuring the impact of programs designed to improve retention and graduation rates of community college students.