School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Jeffrey Savage


self-efficacy, academic burnout, STEM, intent to persist


Education | Educational Leadership


This quantitative non-experimental predictive correlational study aimed to explore the relationship between intent to persist, academic self-efficacy, and burnout among college first-year STEM students. The study is important since there are high dropouts of undergraduate college STEM students that cause vast gaps in the STEM labor market. This study utilized a convenience sample of 112 STEM first-year students enrolled from a private university in southern United States for the spring semester of the 2023 school year. The setting for the study was primarily through virtual collaboration. Participation was voluntary and contact with participants was via social media and flyers with a link to the survey questionnaire. The students completed the online survey using the instruments College Academic Self-Efficacy Scale (CASES), Burnout Assessment Tool (BAT) survey, and the Intention to Terminate Studies or Switch Majors Scale. Multiple linear regression was used for this study since this technique was best when working with two or more predictors and one criterion to assess the relationship between academic self-efficacy and academic burnout, which has four scales: (exhaustion, mental distance, cognitive and emotional impairment) and intent to persist. Only two predictors were statistically significant. Based on the coefficients, it was found that emotional impairment and self-efficacy were the best predictors of intent to persist scores where p < .001. Future research recommended includes replication studies in STEM colleges in different states as well as to recognize how the variables are forecasted within ethnicities and gender in diverse STEM colleges.