Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Kristin Anderson

Second Advisor

Olivia Stewart

Third Advisor

Lisa Bajor


This study explores how the construct of interest may influence first-year community college students’ willingness to engage with academic text assignments. Research on interest theory as presented by Renninger (2009) suggests that students, even those with low self-efficacy or regulation, are more likely to make gains in engagement and/or academic progress, dependent upon how interested those students are in the texts assigned by their teacher. Students from two 2020 spring semester first-year composition courses at a Northeast metropolitan community college were provided with 6 potential academic reading assignments on diverse topics. Students were asked to select one assignment, read it, and report back on their interest level. Through surveys, discussion posts, and class discussions, the concept of student interest in these texts was examined. Using constant comparative coding as asserted by Glaser (1965) and facilitated by NVivo 12 Software, underlying factors related to student interest in academic text assignments were explored. Through participant perspective, twelve observable factors relevant to student interest in academic text assignments were identified, culminating in the articulation of a newly proposed workflow model on Student Interest to Read Academic Texts. This model contributes to the field a visual understanding of the impact of student interest in academic text assignments specific to a young urban adult population. As such, it serves as a valuable first step to consider innovation in educational instruction, to better harness student interest in academic texts for greater engagement and learning.