School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Sarah E Horne


Collective Efficacy, First-Generation, Intervention, Modeling, Retention, Self-efficacy


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education


Students of all backgrounds have a transition period when entering college. However, first-time, first-generation college students encounter more problems and have more difficulties becoming acclimated to college resulting in decreased first-year retention rates for first-generation students. These problems and difficulties are related to course work, socialization, and roommate issues. Research has shown that self-efficacy and collective efficacy are important in student achievement. This research study explored if there was a difference in student perception of self-efficacy among male and female first-year, first-generation college students and male and female first-year, non-first-generation college students. A quantitative, causal-comparative study was conducted utilizing the College Self-Efficacy Inventory (CSEI). A sample size of 151 was utilized; the survey participants included all of the incoming first-year, full-time freshmen (ages 18 and older) at a rural, Midwestern college. The survey was distributed during the first two weeks of the fall 2016 term. Analysis of the survey data was completed using a two-way ANOVA. Overall, the results indicated that first-year, first-generation students had a lower mean CSEI score than that of non-first-generation students, although the difference was not statistically significant. The development of first-generation student self-efficacy by the educational process is at the heart of the teacher-servant Christian tenet. Just as Jesus came to earth to instruct people in the ways of the Father, teachers must also serve and instruct students in the ways of higher education by applying those principles dear to the hearts of all Christians as taught by Jesus Christ. Among the most important tenets taught by Christ was to love God with all your heart (Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37), to love one’s neighbors (Mark 12:31; Mathew 22:39), and to treat others as you would like to be treated (Luke 6:31; Matthew 7:12). The mission of a teacher, therefore, is to teach the first-generation student as an individual, and not just as an economic entity that fuels the bottom line of a university. At the heart of the teacher-servant attitude is understanding how each student learns and, in particular, identifying stumbling blocks that exist in first-generation students’ lives that are producing impediments to their learning process.