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ERIC Number: ED553702
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 287
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-9942-7
An Unconventional Path towards Integration: A Study of Low-Income Community College Students' Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Beliefs
Stimpfel, Scott Albert
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
Nearly half of all undergraduates in the U.S. are enrolled in community colleges and many aspire to obtain a baccalaureate degree, however, less than 13% do so within six years. Integration has been identified in higher education literature as a salient factor contributing to students' persistence. Empirical evidence suggests that students' career decision-making self-efficacy (CDMSE) beliefs have a positive association with integration. A paucity of literature exists, however, with respect to "how" the relationship between students' CDMSE beliefs and integration takes shape within a community college; "how" each of the four sources of self-efficacy (i.e., mastery experiences, social persuasion, vicarious experiences, and physiological states) shape low-income community college students' CDMSE beliefs; and "what" are the predominant types of "learning experiences" found within each of the four sources of self-efficacy. Thus, in order to increase community college students' persistence rates and to bridge the gap between community college students' baccalaureate degree aspirations and attainment, it is important to gain a better understanding of the types of learning experiences found within each of the four sources of self-efficacy, the effect of the four sources of self-efficacy on students' CDMSE beliefs, and the relationship between students' CDMSE beliefs and integration. Case study methodology, specifically cross-case analysis, was used to analyze interviews with twelve low-income students from a large, urban community college. This study's findings supported the 10th theoretical proposition of the Social Cognitive Career Theory. Low-income community college students' CDMSE beliefs were shaped by mastery experiences, vicarious learning, social persuasion, and physiological states. The learning experiences that contributed to participants' CDMSE beliefs often led to, and occurred concurrently, with their integration within the Community College. Four broad themes emerged: (1) positive social persuasion and successful mastery experiences were the primary sources that enhanced participants' CDMSE beliefs; (2) positive learning experiences, within the four-efficacy sources, enhanced participants' CDMSE beliefs and often sparked their academic and career-related interests; (3) participants' career-related interests served as the catalyst for their integration within the Community College; (4) participants' highly valued social persuasion from individuals who either currently work in, or worked in their career field of interest. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A