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Skills to succeed: a questionnaire developed to measure self-advocacy skills before and after intervention in university students

Date

2010

Authors

Mohar, Jayne Gonda, author
Schelly, Catherine, advisor
Davies, Patricia, advisor
DiGregorio, Gaye, committee member
Kuk, Linda, committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Abstract

Objective. Diversity of learners attending post-secondary education is increasing, but students from diverse backgrounds including racial/ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities continue to graduate at lower rates than their peers. Non-academic skills are an important part of student success in postsecondary education, and self-advocacy is a piece of a non-academic skill set that can lead to greater student retention and increased graduation rates. The purpose of this study was to develop a questionnaire to measure self-advocacy skills in university students and to determine the effectiveness of a self-advocacy intervention. Method: A quasi-experimental, mixed design study was used to determine the quality of a questionnaire to identify self-advocacy skills in college sophomores and the effectiveness of the questionnaire to measure the improvement of self-advocacy skills alter receiving a self-advocacy intervention. A diverse group of 36 students in a Learning Community at Colorado State University were given a questionnaire before the start of fall semester 2009. Students received a self-advocacy intervention to target areas of lower performance based on the pre-intervention questionnaire results and were given a follow-up survey at the end of fall semester. Results: Descriptive statistics indicated that half of the 30 Likert scale questions on the self-advocacy questionnaire did not have ceiling effects. Paired r-tests revealed a significant increase in one self-advocacy area and a decrease in two self-advocacy skill areas. When racial/ethnic groups, first-generation students, and students with disabilities were compared, differences were found in how Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino(a) students answered questions regarding self-advocacy skills. Qualitative data analysis further defined sophomore students’ perceived needs and definitions of self-advocacy. Conclusion: Literature supports that sophomore students often report a decrease in self-efficacy related to their academic experience as they measure their ability or chance for academic success. Students reported a need for increasing motivational and academic skills (test taking, studying) as the top areas for needing improvement. In addition to adding control groups, further refinement of the self-advocacy questionnaire and intervention is required in order to effectively measure and target the student identified self-advocacy needs.

Description

2010 Fall.
Includes bibliographic references (pages 37-41).
Covers not scanned.
Print version deaccessioned 2022.

Rights Access

Subject

College students -- Psychology
Counseling in higher education

Citation

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