College tuition costs have risen 33% in the past ten years (NCES, 2016a), forcing college administrators to refocus their efforts on student retention in order to stay competitive (Alarcon & Edwards, 2012; Sanders, Daly, & Fitzgerald, 2016; Tinto, 2006). Although universities have implemented support programs to help students in these areas, students are still failing.
Students with low self-efficacy lack motivation and lack self-regulation skills, putting them at a higher risk of discontinuing. Self-efficacy not only impacts academic performance (Bandura, 1982, 1997; Budescu & Silverman, 2016, Gallagher, Marques, & Lopez, 2016), but it also influences how students handle challenges (Al-Harthy & Was, 2013; Han, Farruggia, & Moss, 2017), impacts their level of self-discipline (Komarraju & Nadler, 2013), and their self-regulation strategies (Chemers, Hu, & Garcia, 2001).
This quantitative study investigated student perceptions of academic self-efficacy after having experienced academic challenges, defined by academic probation, suspension, or dismissal, during their first year. The relationship between academic probation types was studied in comparison with academic variables: cumulative GPA, academic cohort, and type of academic challenge.
The sample included undergraduate students from a mid-size, private institution in New England. Participants (N = 724) were emailed a link to a questionnaire consisting of self-rated statements created by the researcher and derived from the General Self-Efficacy Scale (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995). Respondent data (N = 59) was exported to Excel and then SPSS® for analysis. Descriptive statistics, Cronbach’s Alpha, a t-test, and one-way ANOVA were conducted.
Results showed that students who were once academically at-risk demonstrated higher self-efficacy in managing difficult problems, learning new material, feeling motivated to succeed in courses, and havingconfidence in their academic abilities. These students also demonstrated lower academic self-efficacy in their ability to understand difficult course material and choosing to complete optional assignments even if it did not guarantee them a good grade. There was no significant relationship between cohort and academic self-efficacy score. Although not statistically significant, results showed a trend indicating that the higher the cumulative GPA, the higher the academic self-efficacy score.
These findings may help administrators better understand student academic self-efficacy and tailor support services to help this population.
|Advisor:||Billups, Felice D.|
|Commitee:||Gable, Robert K., Warner, Jack|
|School:||Johnson & Wales University|
|School Location:||United States -- Rhode Island|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Psychology, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Academic probation, At-risk student, Higher education, Motivation, Self-efficacy, Self-regulation|
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