Emotional Intelligence as a Predictor of Graduation for Older Nontraditional Students in an Alternative College Degree Completion Program

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Helena Monahan


Robert Connelly


Judith Beauford


James Sorensen


This study explored emotional intelligence as a predictor of graduation for older (age 30 plus) nontraditional students in an alternative college degree completion program. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role that emotional intelligence plays in graduation from such a program. The 64 subjects for this study (45 Graduates and 19 “Stop-outs”) were randomly chosen from student records at The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW ) in San Antonio, Texas. The term “Stop-outs” was used in this study to describe those students who had dropped out of the ADCaP program for a minimum of one year and who had neither graduated from, nor were presently taking courses at, another college or university. All of these students had participated in the same adult degree completion program (ADCaP), an evening studies program for working adults returning to complete their bachelors’ degrees. All 64 participants completed the BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory to determine their emotional intelligence (EQ) scores. A t-test, comparing the mean scores of the two independent sample groups, tested but failed to support the researcher’s hypothesis that emotional intelligence was a critical factor in determining successful completion of an alternative college degree program, such as UIW ’s ADCaP.

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