Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Delacy Ganley

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

David Drew

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

June K. Hilton

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Steve A Pell


community college, motivation, reading lab, Ryan and Deci, Self-Determination Theory

Subject Categories

Community College Education Administration | Education | Higher Education


This qualitative case study investigated why some students were more motivated to go above and beyond the minimum requirements in terms of both time spent and activities completed in a self-paced reading lab at one Southern California community college. The methodology of the study utilized in person interviews with a sample of 30 participants. Each participant was asked the same ten questions associated with why they were motivated and what motivated them to go above and beyond. The researcher conducted and audio-recorded the interviews, coded the participants’ responses, and developed recurring themes to identify patterns and similarities in the opinions, experiences, and beliefs of the study’s population. The guiding theoretical framework of the study was Ryan and Deci's Self-Determination Theory (2000) of motivation. Through this framework, the study explored what roles autonomy, competence, and relatedness played as a driving force motivating these students go above and beyond the minimum requirements set by the institution. The study revealed that two types of motivation were present in this population: intrinsic and extrinsic. While some participants reveled that they were motivated by an outside reward, all 30 participants disclosed that they experienced intrinsic motivation to some degree. Their intrinsic motivational drive revealed their satisfaction and personal enjoyment when utilizing the self-paced reading lab. The study can be used as a starting point for further investigation on motivation and independent reading lab use at the community college level in other regional areas where the cultural diversity of the population may differ from this study and possibly provide more insight on motivation and self-guided learning. Key Words: motivation, reading lab, community college, Ryan and Deci, Self-Determination Theory



Available for download on Monday, March 08, 2027