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Exploring The Impact Of First Year Engineering Student Perceptions On Student Efficacy

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Goal Specific First-Year Courses

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.615.1 - 14.615.14



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Paper Authors


Lesley Strawderman Mississippi State University

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Lesley Strawderman is an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. She conducts research in the area of human factors and ergonomics, specifically looking at the impact of large scale service systems on human use. She has received her IE degrees from Penn State and Kansas State Universities.

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Bill Elmore Mississippi State University

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Bill Elmore is an Associate Professor and Associate Director in the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering. His research interests include K-12 and undergraduate education reform and renewable biofuels.

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Arash Salehi Mississippi State University

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Arash Salehi is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering. His research interests are human factors engineering, health care services and Six Sigma. He has received degrees from IE department of I.A.U. in Iran and Mississippi State University.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Exploring the Impact of First-Year Engineering Student Perceptions on Student Efficacy Abstract

Students in higher education enter the system with varying expectations. By examining their expectations, and subsequent perceptions, it is possible to prepare them for a rewarding and successful college classroom experience. This paper examines the use of a service quality model to predict and enhance student efficacy and performance. Results indicate that the difference between students' expectations and perceptions (gap score) was significantly related to their academic, team, and career efficacy. Additionally, the change in efficacy over the semester was significantly related to student satisfaction. This paper examines the causes for these results in detail, and discusses the implications of the results on course design and first year students.


The importance of student motivation, mechanisms for teaching and learning, and self-efficacy has been widely studied in higher education.1-6 The degree to which students believe they can succeed, with an accompanying commitment to achieving that success in their chosen field of study, however defined, is influenced by a variety of factors. Personal values and goals, early academic preparation, gender/race/socio-economic7 factors and even group dynamics within a given student cohort can aff is clearly seen among students pursuing degrees in engineering where rates of retention are alarmingly low and continuing to decline.

Mindful of these issues, the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering at Mississippi State University, in the fall 2006 semester, began modifying ChE 2213 Chemical Engineering -/upper-level chemical engineering students subsequent to the traditional Mass and Energy Balances course, the course was re-examined as a vehicle for engaging students in a variety of topics and activities in addition to the original scope of the course namely numerical and statistical techniques using Microsoft Excel and Visual Basic. Topics including team-building, engineering problem solving, and project design and development have been added. An interesting feature of the course was the addition of LEGO NXT robotics systems with a growing cache of chemical engineering applications. Such an addition has energized student enthusiasm and a sense of inquiry/discover heretofore absent (to put it mildly!) from the course.

Logistically, the course was moved from a mid-level course to the spring semester for the freshmen year; thereby, bridging a gap between the fall-semester orientation course and the sophomore fall semester Mass and Energy Balances course. This move allows us to maintain - nt, to build a foundation for the all-important Mass and Energy Balances course.

8 giving forethought and self- and

Strawderman, L., & Elmore, B., & Salehi, A. (2009, June), Exploring The Impact Of First Year Engineering Student Perceptions On Student Efficacy Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4526

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