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ERIC Number: ED542991
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 170
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2673-0769-9
A Theoretical Lens on a Biology Intensive Orientation Program: A Study of Self-Efficacy and Self-Regulation of Freshman Biology Majors
Wheeler, Erin R.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
There is a national effort to increase the number of undergraduate students graduating in science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) (National Science Foundation, 2007). The majority of students initially populating these STEM majors ultimately switch to and graduate from non-STEM majors (Seymour & Hewitt, 2000; Seymour, 2002). The source of attrition from STEM fields lies within the difficulty of concepts presented in freshman STEM introductory courses (Jensen & Moore, 2007, 2008, 2009; Seymour & Hewitt, 2000). These gateway courses are considered high-risk because nearly half of students enrolled in these courses receive either a "D" or "F" or completely withdraw from the course (Labov, 2004). Research shows that students who have uncalibrated self-efficacy and an attenuated self-regulated learning are unsuccessful in high-risk courses (Kitsantas et al., 2008; Ross, Green, Salisbury-Glennon, & Tollefson, 2006; Zimmerman, 2002). Traditional academic assistance, such as tutoring, learning to learn courses, and supplemental instruction, does not explicitly develop an undergraduate's self-efficacy and self-regulated learning as it specifically relates to the STEM domains (Cao & Nietfeld, 2007; Dembo & Seli, 2006; Ross et al., 2006; Simpson, Hind, Nist, Burrell, 1997). Some STEM departments have created academic interventions, such as one-credit seminars, orientation programs, and bridge programs, to directly address the needs of STEM majors (Belzer, 2003; Bonner, 2009; Chevalier, Chrisman, & Kelsey, 2001; Hutchison-Green, Follman, & Bodner, 2008; D. J. Minchella, Yazvac, C. W., Fodrea, R. A., Ball G., 2007; Reyes, Anderson-Rowland, & McCartney, 1998). This study focused on the effect of a biology-intensive orientation program on biology majors' self-efficacy and self-regulated learning. The study utilized approximately 300 undergraduate biology majors participating in a biology-intensive orientation that occurred on August 7-12, 2011, at a public state university. The pre-test and post-test measurements of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, as well as observations, interviews, and open-ended email surveys, were employed to evaluate the program as an effective format for developing self-regulated learning and self-efficacy. The Biology Intensive Orientation for Students (BIOS) was found to exhibit four elements that previous research deemed necessary to develop self-efficacy and self-regulation. BIOS were also shown successfully to calibrate students' self-efficacy and self-regulation to a level for optimal performance in Biology 1201. Camp participants exhibited higher self-efficacy, self-regulation, and final Biology 1201 grades than their non-BIOS peers. Self-efficacy was found to contribute more variance to course performance than self-regulation. Together these results offer insight into the mechanism behind the success of science boot camps and the role of motivation in STEM retention initiatives. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire