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Can I really do this? Perceived benefits of a STEM intervention program and women’s engineering self-efficacy

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Christina S. Morton University of Michigan

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Christina S. Morton is a doctoral student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. Christina has professional experience in Academic and Student Affairs, serving as an Academic Success Coach at Johnson C. Smith University and a Residential Director at North Carolina State University. Her primary research interests are in the motivation and persistence of underrepresented minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

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Selyna Beverly University of Michigan

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Selyna Beverly is current doctoral student in the Higher Education program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has worked as an administrator in a College of Engineering in California and through that experience grew interested in studying female faculty and students. Currently, her research centers on implicit bias within engineering and how it affects women who are pursuing engineering degrees.

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The low number of women that persist in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines is a current problem that has manifested particularly in the engineering collegiate environment. Regardless of previous levels of academic achievement, women are more likely to leave engineering than their male counterparts. Self-efficacy, or the self-confidence to complete certain tasks, is attributed to attrition and persistence in engineering programs. STEM intervention programs that focus on improving the self-efficacy of students can lead to women’s persistence in engineering programs. This study utilizes Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory to investigate the relationship between engineering students’ reports of the benefits of participating in a university STEM intervention program and self-efficacy in engineering, and how this changes over the first year of college. Preliminary findings indicate that women and men’s engineering major confidence significantly increases after participation in the pre-college summer transition program. However, by the end of students’ first academic year, their engineering major confidence is comparable to the levels reported prior to their participation in the summer program. These findings partially align with the extant literature on women’s engineering efficacy but suggest the need for further investigation.

Morton, C. S., & Beverly, S. (2017, June), Can I really do this? Perceived benefits of a STEM intervention program and women’s engineering self-efficacy Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28003

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