Perceptions on Intelligence and Self-Efficacy: A Qualitative Study of Students Enrolled in Transitional Education Reading Courses in the Community College Open Access
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It is vital for adults to have a college degree to sustain or improve their quality of life (Broad, 2010). It is during the college enrollment process that many adults discover they are underprepared for college-level coursework. Consequently, they are required to enroll in transitional education courses in math, writing, and/or reading to prepare them for college-level coursework (Roueche & Waiwaiole, 2009). The Condition of Education postulates that the need to enroll in transitional education reading courses is the "most serious barrier to degree completion" (U.S. Department of Education, 2004, p. 63). This study addressed the deficiencies in the literature by providing an understanding of students' experiences, perceptions of intelligence and self-efficacy, and unique insights while enrolled in transitional education reading courses in the community college. A total of 20 participants enrolled in transitional education reading courses in a community college in a greater suburban area in a southeastern state in the United States were interviewed for this study. The study employed a qualitative methodology which focused on student's voices to gain a better understanding of their educational journey. There was evidence during the study that the educational journey of students was shaped by the recognition of deficiencies in academic performance, but they remained committed to academic improvement. However, their goal development to support long-term career aspirations needed improvement. Also, the students perceived that other students' academic performance was based on internal forces such as academic effort and external forces such as good parenting, inherent intelligence, and no gap before enrollment in college. Next, students' interactions with various subgroups, including college staff/faculty and extended family, affected their educational journey. There was also evidence that deficiencies in academic advising negatively affected the educational journey of students as they navigated enrollment in multiple transitional education courses. This research provides practitioners and stakeholders with a better understanding of students enrolled in transitional education reading courses in a community college and their educational journey to college persistence and completion.