Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Research Methods and Information Science, Research Methods and Statistics

First Advisor

Duan Zhang

Second Advisor

Mark Engberg

Third Advisor

Denis Dumas

Fourth Advisor

Yun-Bo Yi


Education, Evaluation, Tests


This dissertation tested the effect of academic engagement and social engagement on developing soft professional skills for low-income, high-achieving students in higher education. Using the publicly available data of GMS scholarship, the analysis was consisted of EFA and SEM. The general effect model gave a general idea about the tested population, whereas the conditional model highlighted the groups' specific significance. Low-income, high-achieving students continued their academic and social engagement growth during their school years. Academic engagement positively enhanced students' soft professional skills for students who did not receive the GMS scholarship, students from educated and uneducated parents, Asian and Hispanic students. Those who received the GMS scholarship and African Americans' academic engagement did not affect their soft professional skills development. The social engagement did not relate to soft professional skills by any means in the data. Challenges in the first year of college negated the effect of social and academic support on developing soft professional skills for students with GMS scholarship and whose parents are less educated. Limitations of the study have been emphasized, and suggestions for future research were provided.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Nasser Alresaini


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

259 pgs


Education, Educational evaluation, Educational tests and measurements