Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




College of Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Sheena Kauppila

Second Advisor

Kerry Schwanz

Third Advisor

Melissa Batten


Student persistence, retention, and completion are continued concerns in higher education. While external influences contribute to persistence and retention, the focus of this research study was to determine the academic self-efficacy and self-regulated factors that influence the academic achievement of first-time first-year students who persist from the fall to spring semester at a Southeastern technical college. One hundred four first-time first-year students who persisted from fall 2021 to spring 2022 completed an Academic Self-Efficacy Survey. There were five significant predictors identified in the analysis. The three self-regulated learning tasks: “I can finish homework assignments by deadlines,” “I can organize my schoolwork,” and “I can arrange a place to study without distractions” had a significant, positive relationship with academic achievement. The self-regulated learning task, “I can plan my schoolwork,” had a significant, negative relationship with academic achievement. The final significant relationship was that of the self-reported Black/African American students. Black students had a significant, negative relationship with academic achievement and a significantly lower average GPA as compared with other self-reported race/ethnicity students.

The research results provide an opportunity to engage the Southeastern technical college (SETC) in promoting student persistence and academic achievement by incorporating academic self-efficacy into many facets of the college. Understanding levels of academic self-efficacy gauged through self-regulated learning provides knowledge that can be used to retain students toward completion and meet the mission of the institution.