Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Higher Education

Committee Director

Christopher R. Glass

Committee Member

Tony Perez

Committee Member

Linda Bol


Many students preparing for careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are unable to persist past entry-level courses to complete their college degrees. As a result, many higher education institutions have implemented intervention programs, like Supplemental Instruction (SI), to help students master course content and gain the self-regulated learning (SRL) behaviors necessary for success in challenging STEM courses. Numerous studies have demonstrated that SI attendance is correlated with improved course grades; however, few studies have examined the effect of SI attendance on students’ SRL behaviors, like self-efficacy and calibration, which may explain students’ academic achievement throughout college.

The present study examined if students’ pre-existing self-efficacy beliefs and calibration accuracy predicted their decisions to attend SI. In addition, the study explored if SI attendance had a direct effect on students’ final self-efficacy, calibration, and course grades. Students in a fall semester general biology course for science majors were invited to participate in the study, and 320 students completed the pre- and post-test survey. The surveys measured beginning and final self-efficacy using the Academic Efficacy Scale from the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scale, and calibration was measured by asking them to predict their first and final exam scores. A path model was analyzed in Mplus via robust maximum likelihood estimations using pre- and post-test results and students’ total SAT scores, SI attendance, and final course grades.

The results indicated that participants with lower self-efficacy were more likely to attend SI; however, students’ beginning calibration accuracy did not predict their SI attendance. Findings also indicated that SI attendance did not predict final self-efficacy or calibration accuracy, but attending SI had a modest, direct effect on participants’ final course grades. Final self-efficacy and calibration accuracy also predicted final course grades.

The results of this study demonstrate a need to explore additional SRL variables that may be influenced by SI. In addition, the present study validates the value of SI as an academic support program to raise course grades. Finally, potential course-level instructional strategies are offered for improving students’ self-efficacy and calibration accuracy to support STEM degree persistence.


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