School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Breck Laster Perry


Health Sciences, Professional Development, Self-efficacy, Triadic Reciprocality, Higher Education




The purpose of this phenomenological study aimed to understand the lowered self-efficacy of higher education health sciences faculty at the community college two-year degree level due to deficient professional development in a Mid-Atlantic state. The central research question guiding this study was: What are the professional development experiences of higher education health sciences faculty that affect self-efficacy? The theory guiding this study was Bandura’s social cognitive theory, as it focuses on the behavior determinant of self-efficacy of the participants. A hermeneutic phenomenological methodology was used for this qualitative research design. Criterion sampling was used to interview fourteen faculty individually, followed by two focus groups to gather a deep, thick, and rich understanding of their shared experience. Direct non-participant observations of four simulated labs facilitated by the faculty and classroom instruction were also conducted to collect data for the study. I analyzed the data for a thematic analysis to distinguish principal themes of personal context, behavior modifications, and environmental influences among the participants. The results of this study concluded that health science faculty and college administration have the same goals of student success but different paths regarding the professional development needed, and a balance of the constructs of self-efficacy (triadic reciprocality), is necessary to increase self-efficacy and work collaboratively. These findings will provide context to the specific field of health sciences regarding their unique relationship with professional development and fill a gap in the literature regarding the self-efficacy of health science faculty amidst deficient professional development.

Included in

Education Commons