Academic Self-Efficacy, Perseverance, and Growth Mindset: Impact on First-Generation Student Success



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First-generation students are faced with a variety of challenges in their quest for a college degree. Because of the unique hurdles they face, this population experiences challenges with navigating the college experience and is at a higher risk of not completing college. The purpose of this sequential mixed-methods study was to examine whether academic self-efficacy, perseverance, and growth mindset can predict first-generation student success. A sample of first-generation students was recruited from a multi-campus community college system in Texas. Ninety-three students completed three questionnaires: College Academic Self-Efficacy Scale (CASES), Short Grit Scale (Grit-S), and the Implicit Theories of Intelligence Questionnaire (Self-Theory). To capture the voice of first-generation students, eight individuals agreed to take part in semi-structured interviews. Although the results of the quantitative portion of the study did not find that the composite score on CASES, Grit-S, or the Implicit Theories of Intelligence Questionnaire (Self-Theory) could predict student success, the results from the qualitative portion of the study suggested the participants felt that academic self-efficacy, perseverance, and growth mindset contributed to student success. Additional research is needed to explore factors that contribute to first-generation student success.



first-generation students, student success, community college, academic self-efficacy, perseverance, growth mindset