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Board 262: Effects of an Intervention on Student Self-Efficacy and Integration in Chemical Engineering Sophomores

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Brad Cicciarelli Louisiana Tech University

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Brad Cicciarelli is a Distinguished Lecturer in the chemical engineering and mechanical engineering departments at Louisiana Tech University. He earned a B.S. from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. from M.I.T., both in chemical engineering. He teaches a variety of courses, including material and energy balances, thermodynamics, heat transfer, and
numerical methods.

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Timothy Reeves Louisiana Tech University


Catherine Hendricks Belk Clemson University

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Catherine Belk is a doctoral student in the Engineering and Science Education department at Clemson University. She received her B.A. degree in Religion and my B.S. degree in Physics from High Point University in 2012. In 2014 she received her M.S. degree

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Marisa K. Orr Clemson University Orcid 16x16

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Marisa K. Orr is an Associate Professor in Engineering and Science Education with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University.

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We are assessing the impact of an intervention (a two-day voluntary workshop) on the specific factors of self-efficacy and student integration. This workshop, called the “ChemE Camp”, takes place just before the start of fall classes and includes team-building exercises, presentations from faculty about upcoming classes, a hands-on project, a lab tour, presentations from upper-level students and alumni about their experiences in the curriculum and in industry, information about academic advising and the career fair, and some recreational games. Students attending the camp learn more about chemical engineering courses and the profession and also have the opportunity to meet peers and interact with faculty and upper-level students. We hypothesized that the activities included in the camp would positively impact on students’ self-efficacy and social integration, factors which have been shown in other studies to significantly influence student experience and student success.

The effects of the intervention were assessed using surveys administered to students at the start of the camp. These surveys included published subscales used in the study of self-efficacy and social and academic integration. The same surveys were administered to all second-year chemical engineering students at the beginning of the academic year (three days after the beginning of the camp) and the end of the academic year (approximately eight months later). Data collected from the previous three academic years indicate a statistically significant increase in the chemical engineering self-efficacy, coping self-efficacy, and social and academic integration ratings for students who attend the camp and these effects appear to largely be maintained throughout the sophomore year. Non-attendees enter the sophomore year with lower average ratings in these factors and show little change over the course of the year. Students’ intent to persist in the chemical engineering major was also assessed by these surveys, and while the camp attendees’ ratings showed almost no change from just prior to the camp to just after, their ratings exhibited a substantial, statistically-significant increase during the sophomore year. Non-attendees entered the year with a similar average rating to the attendees but showed a much more modest increase over the course of the year.

We continue to collect data from both student survey responses and academic records, with the goal of eventually using path analysis to establish the relationships between the factors of self-efficacy and student integration and the outcomes of academic performance and persistence for second-year chemical engineering students. We currently have insufficient data to power such an analysis, but our available data suggest that the intervention is having a positive impact on these factors.

Cicciarelli, B., & Reeves, T., & Belk, C. H., & Orr, M. K. (2023, June), Board 262: Effects of an Intervention on Student Self-Efficacy and Integration in Chemical Engineering Sophomores Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42709

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