Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


College of Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Monaghan, Catherine

Subject Headings

Adult Education


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how instructional approaches to teaching developmental writing at a large urban community college foster the development of college students’ self-efficacy regarding academic writing and self-identity as college students. The case study examined the perspectives of four instructors and six students. The research considered: 1) how students experience the development of self-efficacy related to their academic writing; 2) how students experience their self-identity as college students; 3) how writing instructors foster students’ development of self-efficacy as writers; and 4) how writing instructors foster students’ self-identities as college students. The findings of this study provided a description of some of the specific ways students enrolled in developmental writing courses experienced the development of self-efficacy and self-identity. The study illuminated some of the practices that instructors use to facilitate both self-efficacy and self-identity in their approaches to teaching. With regard to students, what emerged in the analysis of this data was a sense that they felt both more empowered toward writing in an academic context and more self-identified as college students. The significance of the study demonstrated that fostering relationships among students and with the institution itself, along with scaffolding and contextualizing assignments, builds effective pathways to student success.