Higher education institutions are faced with pressure to graduate more doctoral students, but universities are faced with an increasing population of doctoral students who identify themselves as first-generation; however, there is not much known about this specific population as well as other generational students (i.e., second and other generation) at the doctoral level. The little that is known about first-generation and second-generation students revolves around the many barriers and challenges that first-generation students face in comparison to other generational status students at the undergraduate level. The theoretical framework used in this study is social cognitive theory, from which the concept of self-efficacy is derived. This study focuses on exploring student self-efficacy levels in terms of academic self-efficacy, research self-efficacy, and social self-efficacy. This study is a quantitative, survey design that explored the relationship between the generational status of education doctoral students and their levels of self-efficacy while also offering generalizations that will benefit these students, administrators, and higher education institutions. Analysis of the data concludes that the generational status of a doctoral student does not determine their self-efficacy.
July 26th, 2016
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