Stacy Stewart


  • Current position: Career Advisor, University of Southern Maine
  • Position during PhD studies: Coordinator of Career Services, University of Southern Maine

Stacy began working for the University of Southern Maine in 2004 as the coordinator of USM STRIVE U, a post-secondary opportunity for students with developmental disabilities. Stacy taught HRD 110 Choices, Changes & Careers in 2005, and currently teaches. Stacy began teaching HRD 110 Choices, Changes & Careers in 2005, and currently teaches COR 188 College and Career Success. She also co-coordinates that course and its development. 


  • PhD in Public Policy with a concentration in Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Southern Maine, 2015
  • MS in School Counseling, University of Southern Maine, 2005
  • BS in Psychology, San Francisco State University, 2001
  • AD, American Academy of Dramatic Arts

Certifications and Training:

  • Global career development facilitator
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Strong & iStartStrong
  • StrengthsFinder
  • Gatekeeper


  • National Academic Advising Association
  • National Career Development Association
  • Maine Career Development Association
  • Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society


  • Co-author of “Branding” published in the NACADA Monograph Series, Academic Advising Administration: Essential Knowledge and Skills for the 21st Century, No. 22 2011.


Title: Grit and Self-Control as Predictors of First-Year Student Success

Abstract: The objective of this exploratory quantitative study was to investigate the relationships between grit, self-control, and the first academic semester of college students, and determine if the relationships differed by gender. Two research questions were examined; (1) What are the relationships between the individual factors of grit, self-control, and first-semester college GPA? And do they differ by gender? and (2) What combinations of factors (grit, self-control, high school GPA, and SAT scores) best predicts first-semester college GPA? And do they differ by gender?

This study investigated 88 first-time, first-year college students and their academic success during their first college semester using three instruments: the 12-Item Grit Scale, the Self-Control Scale, and the Short-Form C of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Correlation analysis and stepwise regression methods were used to examine relationships.

Findings from this study reinforce that high school GPA and SAT scores are predictors of college academic performance. However, the relationships between high school GPA, SAT scores, and fall GPA in this study were not as strong as indicated in previous studies. Results indicated that grit and academic performance had no relationship, while a small yet significant relationship was found between self-control and academic performance. Additionally, male and female students had somewhat different results in terms of grit, self-control, and academic performance. Predictors of academic performance for male students were high school GPA, self-control, and SAT scores. Female students’ predictors were high school GPA and SAT scores. During an exploration process in this study, self-control was the only predictor of students’ fall GPA when it was less than 2.67. Gender did not play a role in that particular finding, and the best and only predictor of all students’ fall GPA < 2.67 was self-control. That indicated that levels of earned GPA may be related to levels of self-control. The overall findings of this study contribute to further understanding factors related to college success, graduation, and better options for both life and career.