School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Ken Gossett


College Student, Newspapers, Reporters, Self-efficacy, Student-media, Student-run Media, Transcendental Phenomenology


Communication | Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to discover and understand college students’ perceptions of the ways their lived experiences while participating in college student-run media have impacted their sense of self-efficacy. The central research question was, what are college student perceptions of how participation in college student-run media impacts their sense of self-efficacy? Bandura’s social cognitive theory of self-regulation, which explains how an individual’s environment, behavior, and personal factors combine and intertwine to produce feelings of self-efficacy, was used as the framework for this study. Purposeful sampling was used to select full-time students that had worked at least one semester on staff in a college, student-run media service, and were still active. The study site was a single, medium-sized college of approximately 7,678 students in the Mid-Atlantic United States. The participants for this study had primary editorial control over the content of the media productions they managed. Data were collected through individual interviews, individual media projects, and observations of related media group activities. The data were then analyzed using both Creswell’s and Moustakas’s procedures to identify the essence of the lived experiences. The central research question served to discover and understand participant perceptions of how college student-run media participation impacted self-efficacy. Subquestions included how participants described the environmental, behavioral, and personal factors related to that lived experience. The resulting data discovered three major themes supporting Bandura’s theory regarding how environmental, behavioral, and personal factors have a strong positive perceived effect on self-efficacy resulting from participation.