Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Mentorship and Student Self-efficacy Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6m311t974

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  • Background: The United States has been under-producing college graduates since at least 1980, with many challenges suppressing students’ self-efficacy. One approach to improving student outcomes is through mentorship. This dissertation applied Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and Kram’s Mentor Relationship Development Theory (MRD) to discover whether students’ campus mentorship experiences were related to changes in student self-efficacy. The literature was reviewed indicating a dearth of studies applying Kram’s MRD to the college experience. Of particular interest was the need of college freshmen to make an immediate personal connection with someone who would build their confidence the way a mentor would. Purpose: The research hypotheses sought to discover whether more frequent and satisfying experiences with potential mentors on campus were associated with changes in freshmen self-efficacy. Subjects: College freshmen surveys from two and four year colleges nationwide totaling 15,855 subjects were studied regarding their mentorship interactions and their self-efficacy beliefs. Research design: Using existing data, over 15,000 students nationwide had been surveyed before and after the freshman year. Six kinds of student self-efficacy were identified in the data: Academic self-confidence, Intellectual self-confidence, Social self-confidence, Emotional health, Drive to achieve, and Cooperativeness. A variety of mentorship experiences included interactions with faculty, advisors, counselors, and staff. Statistical analysis was conducted to explore these variables and identify relationships between mentorship experiences and student self-efficacy.Findings: Factor analysis indicated that student self-efficacy is multi-faceted. Regression analysis indicated that the strongest positive influence on students’ academic self-efficacy at the end of the freshman year was their academic self-efficacy at the beginning of the freshman year. The second strongest positive influence was incoming student grades, equal in impact to faculty believing in students’ ability to succeed. Other positive influences included communicating regularly with professors, asking their advice after class, and interacting with them outside of formal class or office hours. Faculty interactions that predicted decreases in self-confidence included showing concern about students’ progress and students’ attending office hours. Career counseling had small positive influences. The strongest negative influence was gender. Being female was associated with lower academic self-confidence, made worse after mentorship experiences on campus. Being Asian and being Hispanic were associated with slight decreases in academic self-confidence, but improved after campus mentorship experiences. Conclusions: Student self-efficacy was influenced by potential mentors on campus. Consistent with literature (Sax et al., 2005), some contacts with faculty were associated with small positive changes, and some were associated with small negative changes. The most valuable mentorship experience was faculty believing in students’ potential to succeed, consistent with Dweck (2007), Seligman (1998) and Steele (1997). This study reinforced that faculty need to continue to develop methods to support freshmen, particularly women. Mentorship on campus continues to be a powerful influence on student success, and is an area worthy of future research.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Margaret Mellinger(margaret.mellinger@oregonstate.edu) on 2017-10-20T16:38:24Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1WilliamsMaryJeanH2017.pdf: 1902521 bytes, checksum: 8338c365c5f27d691028c53081a79bee (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2017-10-20T16:38:24Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1WilliamsMaryJeanH2017.pdf: 1902521 bytes, checksum: 8338c365c5f27d691028c53081a79bee (MD5) Previous issue date: 2017-09-22
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  • Existing Confidentiality Agreement
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  • 2017-11-08 to 2020-04-21

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