Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in English, Rhetoric and Composition



Major Advisor

Bruce Ballenger, Ph.D.


Whitney Douglas, Ph.D.


Melissa Keith, M.A.


This explorative case study used mixed methods to examine and analyze the two following research questions using the psychological framework from Perceived Self-Efficacy Theory: 1) what variables of writing center tutor training affected the trainees’ perceived self-efficacy levels towards their work, and 2) what aspects of this training contributed to the attainment of persistence? Both questions were answered using quantitative and qualitative methods for analyses. The quantitative research revealed that the initial six week period of observation for peer tutors at the beginning of their training was highly beneficial for increasing their perceived self-efficacy levels in believing they could complete tasks and overcome challenges as they transitioned from their training into working as peer tutors in the writing center. The qualitative research further verified that the peer tutor’s levels of self-efficacy was largely due to the benefits of observing other peer tutors with more working experience, as well as learning practical skills for peer tutoring from their class readings. The findings pertaining to the trainees’ attainment of persistence showed that the most important factors involved were having a sense of belonging to the writing center community and developing a peer tutor identity.