Dissertation

Effects of academic success courses on academic self-efficacy among students in a comprehensive public four-year regional university

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of academic success courses on the academic self-efficacy of students on academic probation who are enrolled at a comprehensive public four-year regional university. Following a grounded theory case study methodology, historical data, vis-à-vis 234 previous student writing assignments, were examined. The purpose of the data analysis was to explore student perceptions relative to the effectiveness of academic success courses in increasing academic self-efficacy beliefs. Students identified interpersonal and external factors that led to increased academic self-efficacy beliefs. The interpersonal factors included time management practices and using what was defined as creator language and mentalities. External factors that helped the students were meeting with their professors outside of class and participation in activities and services on campus. Specifically, students reported positive changes in their academic self-efficacy beliefs through a discovery that they were not the only students who struggle academically, a belief in self, increased confidence, and a sense of pride. Notably, while the specific factors that influenced student self-efficacy were consistent across student groups, male and female students tended to write about their future plans for success differently. The majority of male students wrote using passive language, whereas most of the female students used active language in their writing. Finally, a theoretical model is presented along with recommendations for practice as well as future research.

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