Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Melanie M. Domenech Rodriguez

Abstract

In an effort to better understand high school student's academic self-efficacy and college preparedness, 165 students were surveyed at the Utah State University event Diversity Day held on November 21st, 2014. As such, we collaborated with the Utah State University Admissions office so that all evaluation materials and results could be used for future recruitment purposes. Students were asked questions designated to gain insight into the factors they determined to be important when choosing to attend college, selecting a college to attend, and how prepared they viewed themselves to succeed in college. In addition, basic measures were also taken that have been used to predict probably success in college such as grade point average (GPA) and either the American College Test (ACT) or the formally known Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores. The starting point question was, are does a higher self-efficacy score correlate with a higher college preparedness score, and does that vary across ethnic background? The survey was handed out to students as the second to last activity of their day, and they were allowed between 15-20 min to complete the survey before turning it in to be able to claim free ice cream and t-shirts. Group leaders of the event assisted in the collection of surveys and kept record of the assigned survey number and participant name on a separate sheet to secure confidentiality. Traditional scales were not used as the purpose of this study was to gather data that could be used to pinpoint future areas of study. About 69% students surveyed were 17 years old and most attended schools in Utah and Idaho. Around 60% of the students identified as being Latino/Hispanic and 97% of students indicated that they do plan on attending college. When asked to rate various factors on level of importance in their college selection, scholarship awards and majors available with rated overall the most important. Students of ethnic minority backgrounds found multicultural student support important while White American students did not. A highly statistically significant relationship (r=.616, p<.001) was found between self-efficacy scores and college preparedness scores across the board for all students regardless of ethnic background. No significant difference between the ethnic groups was found. Indicating therefore that students who perceive themselves has having higher capabilities of doing well in college, tend to show higher predictors of actual college preparedness, regardless of ethnic background.

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Psychology Commons

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