Terms like ‘grit’ and ‘self-efficacy’ are concepts that are notoriously difficult to define, measure, and monitor. However, they have also been woven throughout everything covered thus far. In all of the major areas covered, challenges and obstacles can arise for students at any time, and they most certainly will.
Our role as student services professionals is not to make sure that no obstacles arise for any student at any point. If that was the standard, everyone would come up short. Our responsibility is to help students grow in the skills they need to face obstacles head on, to see them as part- and-parcel of the educational experience as a whole, and to know where to look and who to lean on for help if they need it.
Self-efficacy is a fascinating concept, particularly in that it is not at all related to someone’s actual abilities in a given area. It’s entirely about self- perception. And beyond that, it’s not a personality characteristic or quality that is inherent in a given individual. It can be taught, grown, and cultivated.
To help students start to cultivate their own sense of self-efficacy, you can start by directing them to ask themselves these questions:
1. Am I equipped to face challenges that may come up?
2. Do I believe that challenges are opportunities for growth and learning?
Stay tuned for part five, or download the full eBook below!