Above average ability, creativity and self-efficacy as predictors of success for honors students
Marriner, Nigel R
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the components of Renzulli's Enrichment Triad, which is comprised of above-average ability, creativity and, for this study, self-efficacy, to gauge its possible use as a predictor of academic success for honors students. Undergraduate institutions continue to strive to recruit academically talented students and the use of honors programs or honors colleges are often a vehicle to enhance those recruitment efforts. The challenge is that these efforts may not accurately identify and admit the truly gifted, exceptional or capable students, thereby possibly distributing the resources of these programs incorrectly. Two hundred and thirty first year Honors students at a large public research university in the Northeast were asked to complete a demographic information sheet as well as two survey instruments: the Honors Student Self-efficacy Scale (HS-CASES) and the Abbreviated Torrance Test (ATTA) for creativity. Additionally, student high school g.p.a. and standardized test results were incorporated into the data file and analyzed using correlation coefficients and stepwise regression. The analysis of the data illustrated that high school g.p.a. and the self-efficacy scores were strongly correlated to first year g.p.a. both as individual variables and when they were combined. Additionally, when the self-efficacy measures were broken down in to their disparate components it was revealed that the Technical subscores correlated moderately while the Cognitive and Honors subscores correlated more weakly. SAT scores were not as valuable a predictive measure as high school g.p.a. As a result, with its suspected ethnic and cultural biases, this research may further support the exclusion of SAT scores from admissions criteria. In addition, the creativity measures, as they were operationalized in this research, provided few useful insights. The implications of these findings support change in the admissions procedures for academically talented students by supporting current methods (high school g.p.a.), refuting others (SATs) and suggesting and supporting new approaches (self-efficacy). It is hoped that this research will help to provide a basis for restructuring admissions processes so that students will be more accurately placed into academic learning environments in which they will thrive.