Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

Neil Sappington

Second Advisor

Lydia Kyei - Blankson


This quantitative study examines the role of an explicit college-going intervention on the self-reported levels of college-going self-efficacy for rural middle school students. While there are a multitude of variables that influence a student’s decision to pursue formal education beyond high school, this study focused on college-going self-efficacy, which is one of the constructs included in the Social Cognitive Career Theory. Rural seventh grade students answered fourteen questions from a College-Going Self-Efficacy scale pre-intervention and then completed the same questions post-intervention. The intervention consisted of lessons that addressed common barriers students see as prohibiting them from going to college, including finding ways to pay for college, having enough family support for college, and possessing the academic ability to go to college. Findings from the study showed that the self-reported levels of college-going self-efficacy did increase from the first survey administration to the second. Additionally, findings revealed that students qualifying for free or reduced lunches had a lower college-going self-efficacy score than their peers in the paid lunch group. Gains seen in college-going self-efficacy scores were greater for students in the paid lunch category than those in the free / reduced lunch category. While many factors contributing to students’ post high school plans are based in family experiences, culture, or expectations, this study demonstrated that student levels of college-going self-efficacy can be impacted by a school-based intervention.

KEYWORDS: College-going self-efficacy, Social Cognitive Career Theory, Middle school students, College-going intervention, Equity literacy


Imported from ODonnell_ilstu_0092E_11736.pdf


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