Date of Award

Spring 6-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Catherine O'Callaghan, PhD

Second Advisor

Janice Jordan, PhD

Third Advisor

Kathryn Campbell, PhD


College-bound students move from various high school environments to a collegiate setting; this transition requires acclimation. There is increased interest in the understanding of college student adjustment to decrease student attrition, thus adjustment to college has been studied in different contexts, including social and academic. The construct of self-efficacy, or students’ judgments of their capabilities to organize courses of action to perform tasks, attributes to college adjustment. Another construct, mindset, defined as a person’s self-perception or “self- theory” effects learning, skill acquisition, success, and other aspects of life. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the use of mindset language in the college classroom, on student’s perceptions of self-efficacy and mindset. For one fall semester, this study required treatment participants to participate in classes where mindset language was delivered by professors. Terms were derived from the Growth Mindset Framing and Feedback tools, and treatment professors received training to deliver the language in the subsequent 15-week semester. The treatment group completed eight Self-Assessment Prompts on Performance Accomplishments and Mindset (SAPPAM). The researcher also measured first-year students’ self-efficacy and mindset using two qualitative instruments to explain perceptions of collegiate abilities (i.e., exam preparation and time management). Focused interviews and fidelity of treatment observations were conducted; the mixed-methods convergent parallel design was used to understand students’ perceptions. A MANOVA was used to examine academic, social, and social integration self-efficacy of students who participated in classes infused with mindset language and those who were not in these classes. In addition, an ANOVA was used to understand differences in mindset for each group. Quantitatively, there were no significant differences for either procedure, though the data collected from student responses provided information pertaining to the college experience.