East Lansing, Michigan
July 26, 2020
July 26, 2020
July 28, 2020
Across the country, engineering retention rates are often low and highly correlated with calculus performance. The underlying cause of poor performance in college math courses may be more complicated than just lack of preparedness or ability. Rather, low math self-efficacy may be an important contributing factor to poor performance. Math self-efficacy refers to an individual’s beliefs about understanding math concepts and solving related problems. Among college students generally, past math performance is thought to inform self-efficacy; however, future achievement is most dependent on how students perceive their past performances. Studies examining development and impacts of math self-efficacy for engineering students are somewhat sparse, although some authors report that feelings about math are an important component of general engineering self-efficacy.
The goal of our study is to explore how math self-efficacy develops among civil engineering students and how that self-efficacy might drive their will to succeed as engineering students. Specifically, we address the following questions: (1) To what extent, if any, does math self-efficacy evolve over students’ first academic semester? (2) How does math self-efficacy vary based on students’ high school and college math experiences? (3) To what extent might math self-efficacy be associated with persistence in engineering? We hope to provide insights for how self-efficacy building can be used to encourage retention of diverse engineering students.
Watson, M. K., & Ghanat, S. T. (2020, July), Exploring Math Self-Efficacy Among First-Year Civil Engineering Majors Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan. https://peer.asee.org/35759
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