Term of Award
Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)
Document Type and Release Option
Dissertation (open access)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development
Teri Denlea Melton
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Purpose: The purpose of this mixed method study was to determine if a relationship existed between self-efficacy scores and a final program course grade for first-generation graduate professional college students (FGS) and non-first-generation graduate professional college students (NFGS) in a physician assistant program. In addition, the researcher sought to explore the perceptions of first-generation graduate professional program students regarding experiences, contributors, and successful strategies relative to self-efficacy as related to completion of their degree program. Method: This mixed method study examined the experiences of 59 physician assistant students from Georgia Health Sciences University (formerly known as the Medical College of Georgia) by using the Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE), originally developed by Schwarzer and Jerusalem in 1981, and a demographic questionnaire which was designed by the researcher. Results from the two instruments were evaluated using bivariate correlations and descriptive statistics. The researcher also utilized chi-square and t-test for quantitative analyses. Second, the researcher developed a list of interview questions which expanded upon the study's research questions in order to explore the perceptions of first-generation graduate professional students regarding experiences, contributors, and successful strategies relative to self-efficacy as related to completing their degree program. Major Findings: Based on the quantitative findings of this study, it was not determined if self-efficacy has a significant influence on a final Anatomy course grade based on generation status. In addition, the researcher concluded that the group comparison between FGS and NFGS did not show a significant difference when comparing group Anatomy scores or self-efficacy scores. The qualitative phase revealed three common themes regarding self-efficacy in a physician assistant program: (a) mastery experiences, (b) family support, and (c) self-confidence.
Stallings, Judith B., "Self-Efficacy and First-Generation Students in a Physician Assistant Program" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 389.
Research Data and Supplementary Material