School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Christian Raby

Primary Subject Area

Education, General


Self-Efficacy, Work-Based Learning, Disability, Community College, Matriculation, Andragogy


Curriculum and Instruction


Students with disabilities are attending higher education institutes at an increasing rate due to the programs and retention practices developed in k-12 classrooms. A concern for community colleges is the student’s ability to transition into the workforce after graduation. A high percentage of students with disabilities are unemployed. It is essential to study factors that can contribute to a student’s ability or inability to successfully transition into employment after matriculation. Self-efficacy has been associated with academic success and could be a determinate for employment status. The purpose of this study was to determine if self-efficacy levels differ between students with and without disabilities who do or do not participate in work-based learning. Work-based learning is a program-specific internship experience designed to develop students’ hard and soft skills, job awareness, and professional network. The causal-comparative study determined the effect of work-based learning and disability status on students’ self-efficacy. Self-efficacy was measured using the General Self-Efficacy Scale. The data was collected from 14 North Carolina community colleges using convenience sampling. The data was analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The two-way ANOVA yielded no statistical significance between self-efficacy scores between students with and without disabilities who did or did not participate in work-based learning. The difference between self-efficacy scores in students with and without disabilities was statistically significant and therefore support previous research studies’ assertations. Future studies should compare students’ self-efficacy scores over a semester to determine if there is a positive or negative change.