Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type



Social Work

Degree Name

Master of Science

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Alan Lipps

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Amy Kalb, LMSW

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Steven Moore



A large number of high school students entering college are arriving academically unprepared. Abilene Christian University’s newly founded Bridge Scholars Program seeks to help and support academically at-risk students based upon low ACT/SAT scores and low high school GPA averages. This research utilizes the Supplemental Instruction program, (based upon Bandura’s social learning theory), as its academic intervention. The research questions are 1) How does Supplemental Instruction contribute to an at-risk student’s college readiness (knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors and strategies)? And, 2) Does a student’s internal or external locus of control predict academic performance? A pretest and posttest using Rotter’s (1966) Internal-External Locus of Control Scale measured students’ overall academic confidence. Class test scores, class final grades, and semester GPA were used to measure Supplemental Instruction program effectiveness. Although Locus of Control proved insignificant, test scores, final class grade, and overall semester GPA indicate that the Bridge Scholars program and Supplemental Instruction are highly effective interventions in better preparing at-risk students for the rigors of college level academia.



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