June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Women in Engineering
22.1209.1 - 22.1209.7
Racially Diverse Women’s and Men’s Adjustment to STEM Majors: Implications for Recruitment and Retention This study extends prior research on social cognitive career theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown& Hackett, 1994) in the context of racially diverse college students’ STEM field choice andpersistence. Specifically, this study explored racially diverse college students’ self-efficacy andcoping efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations, access to environmental resources, environmentalbarriers, and coping strategies within the context of STEM field choice. Participants in this study were 245 racially diverse women (n =73) and men (n = 171)majoring in engineering at three universities on the east coast. Participants self-identified asAsian/Asian American (n = 123), African American (n = 72), Hispanic/Latina/o (n = 29), NativeAmerican/American Indian (n = 1), and other (n = 20). Participants were asked to respond to aseries of open-ended questions that explored their access to environmental resources, experienceof environmental barriers, barrier-coping strategies, and sources of self-efficacy and outcomeexpectations. The responses were reviewed and coded by a team of doctoral students (n = 5) andfaculty (n = 2) in psychology. Following a content-analysis approach, participant responses weregrouped into common themes. Participants reported experiencing several types of academic (e.g., study skill deficits),social (e.g., lack of support), and financial (e.g., tuition) hurdles during their first semester. Theyalso described factors that facilitated their academic progress – such as university programs (e.g.,mentoring, living-learning communities), social support from peers, and development ofpersonal resources (e.g., time and stress management skills) – and cited additional resources that,if available, could have further assisted their adjustment. Finally, participants reported race andgender specific events that hindered and facilitated their academic progress. Individual, program,and institutional level recommendations for the recruitment and retention of racially diversestudents in engineering will be discussed.
Miller, M. J., & Lent, R., & Smith, P. E., & Watford, B. A., & Wilkins, G. M., & Jezzi, M. M., & Hui, K., & Lim, R. H., & Bryan, N. A., & Martin, H. M. (2011, June), Racially Diverse Women's and Men's Adjustment to STEM Majors: Implications for Recruitment and Retention Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18961
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