Cultivating academic and social self-efficacy in first-year students: a quantitative study of the first-year seminar

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ayeesha J. Hankins (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Dale Schunk

Abstract: More than any other year, the first year poses attrition hazards that institutions must counteract. Studies show that if students make it through their first year in college successfully, the chances of them persisting to their second year improves significantly. Thus, emphasis on first-year success has been and continues to be central to the work of college administrators, faculty, and staff. Research on the first-year seminar has found that participation in these courses positively impacts student retention and academic performance. Furthermore, the literature supports that high academic self-efficacy increases academic performance and persistence in college. Also, high social self-efficacy facilitates a successful social and academic transition to the college environment. However, additional research is needed to determine if self-efficacy is cultivated within the first-year seminar. Thus, the purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study is to investigate if participation in FYS 100 positively influences first-year students’ academic and social self-efficacy. Social cognitive theory was the theoretical framework that guided this study. The researcher used the College Self-Efficacy Inventory (CSEI) to measure the constructs of academic and social self-efficacy. Results of the repeated measures ANOVA analyses showed that participation in FYS 100 did not contribute significantly to differences in students’ academic self-efficacy and there was no significant interaction between participation in FYS 100 and various demographic variables such as gender, race/ethnicity, and first-generation status on the average academic or social self-efficacy scores of first-year students. One repeated measures ANOVA analysis, however, showed that participation in FYS 100 contributed significantly to differences in students’ social self-efficacy scores. Finally, a bivariate correlation analysis was conducted using students’ post-course academic self-efficacy scores and final grades in FYS 100 for fall 2016 and showed that there was not a positive statistically significant correlation between the two variables. This study expands the body of literature that addresses how the first-year seminar positively impacts first-year students. Future research suggestions are presented and implications for educational practice are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
First-year seminar, First-year students, Self-efficacy
College dropouts $x Prevention
College freshmen
College student orientation
Academic achievement

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