Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology & Higher Education

First Committee Member

Lisa Bendixen

Second Committee Member

Gwen Marchand

Third Committee Member

Lori Olafson

Fourth Committee Member

Kendall Hartley

Number of Pages



The economic benefits of academic success and completion are long-lasting. Students who attend community colleges can stand to benefit a great deal by completing a 4-year degree or even a 2-year degree. Unfortunately, these students often begin their higher education journey not fully prepared for college-level coursework. Students often fail to see how their college coursework relates to their lives and in turn, don’t hold interest or perceive value for the course and consequently do not perform well. Using Eccles et al. (1983) expectancy-value theory this study tested how community college students would respond to a utility-value intervention in which they generated either short-term value for the course (proximal) or long-term value for the course (distal). Future time perspective theory (Husman & Shell, 2008) was incorporated to determine whether a match between the type of utility-value that students generated and students’ differences in time perspective (proximally-oriented or distally-oriented) would have differential effects on achievement outcomes such as situational interest, perceived utility-value, and performance. Neither proximal value prompts nor distal value prompts influenced these outcomes. Future time perspective did significantly predict students’ situational interest and perceived utility-value in that students who were more proximally-oriented (shorter future time perspective) were more interested in the course and perceived more value for the course than students who were more distally oriented (longer future time perspective). Further, utility value/time perspective match did not influence outcomes. The manipulation check revealed that students struggled to generate distal value for the course but did not for proximal value. Even students who were not prompted to generate value, generated proximal value. These findings have implications for designing techniques to increase interest, utility-value, and performance with community college students while considering individual time orientation.


academic motivation; expectancy value; interest development; situational interest; task value; utility value generation


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Psychology | Psychology

File Format


File Size

0.847 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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