An Assessment of Bridging Program Participants’ Sources of Academic Self-Efficacy at a Regional Australian University

Debra Ann Metcalf, Karl Kilian Konrad Wiener


Academic bridging and other remedial programs are designed to maximize outcomes for all students and are designed around an inclusive framework which targets the most disadvantaged or at need students. This study questions the validity of this practice through an evaluation of Bandura’s sources of academic self-efficacy for bridging program participants within two distinct cohorts, first-in-family and non-first-in-family students. The study comprised students at a regional Australian university (N=1806) which prides itself on high rates of first generation student enrolment. Data was analyzed using SPSS® software to construct regression analyses for each cohort and determine for each which of Bandura’s sources of academic self-efficacy predicted current academic self-efficacy. For both first-in-family and non-first-in-family students who did not participate in bridging programs, all four of Bandura’s sources of academic self-efficacy were significant predictors of current academic self-efficacy. For first-in-family students who participated in bridging programs, vicarious learning did not significantly predict academic self-efficacy. For non-first-in-family students who participated in bridging programs, mastery experience and social persuasion did not predict academic self-efficacy. Some suggestions for the disparity between the results for bridging program participants and the bulk of accepted literature are offered as are some implications for bridging program pedagogy.

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