The Effects of Students' MUSIC Model Perceptions on Their Academic Identification and Achievement

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Virginia Tech

The widespread effects of student failure and dropout have social, judicial, and economic implications. This study addressed factors that can affect students academic identification, an element that can influence dropout among U.S. high school students identified as at-risk. Research indicates that student motivation and academic identification may be linked to improvements in students academic achievement and reductions in dropout rates. The purpose of this quantitative investigation was to address high dropout rates among at-risk, high school students by exploring the extent to which students motivational beliefs in school predicted their academic identification and achievement. Specifically, I explored the extent to which the MUSICSM Model of Academic Motivation Inventory (MUSIC Inventory) produced valid scores among at-risk high school students, and the extent to which students motivational beliefs about school predicted their academic identification and achievement. This quantitative study utilized structural equation modeling (SEM) and involved a sample of 100 at-risk students from an alternative high school in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Data were collected via paper surveys, which I administered to students during October, 2015. All survey data were entered into SPSS 23 for analysis. Results indicated that Cronbach's alpha coefficients were low for all MUSIC Model components except for care, which demonstrated modest reliability. Data analysis also indicated that three of the five components of the MUSIC Model " usefulness, success, and caring" were positively associated with academic identification. Thus, there is preliminary evidence to suggest that teachers may be able to have a positive effect on the academic success of at-risk high school students by finding ways to improve students perceptions of usefulness, success, and care. Educational stakeholders can utilize findings from the present study to prompt an exploration of ways to improve these motivational components to promote greater academic success among this student population.

at-risk students, motivation, alternative schools