June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1445.1 - 22.1445.14
The Effect of Contextual Support on Self Efficacy in 1st Year Undergraduate Engineering ProgramsAbstractThis study, completed in the 2009-2010 academic year, is part of a larger researchproject supported by the National Science Foundation. Over the past year,engineering students completed an in-class, written 96-item survey at the start oftheir sophomore year, thus their responses were reflections on their first yearexperiences. The total number of respondents was 1,638 students, representing aresponse rate of 67% of the total engineering sophomore population across fouruniversities.This paper reports on the effect of contextual support, controlling fordemographic characteristics, on three dimensions of self efficacy: academic,career, and work. Contextual support is defined as the encouragement provided tostudents through both institutional means, such as financial aid, mentorship, andparticipation in first year living/learning communities, and through modeling andconversation. The latter instance represents the messages that parents, faculty,role models, and peers convey to students about their efficacy for performingdifferent tasks or the career choice encouragement (or discouragement) thatstudents obtain from influential significant others.The analysis revealed that social support from friends, family, college, and facultyfurnish a powerful and independent impact on efficacy over and abovedemographic qualities. The only demographic characteristic that preceded socialsupport as an explanation of self-efficacy was the impact of academicperformance (GPA) on academic self-efficacy. Otherwise, social supportfurnished the most significant explanations of work, career, and academic self-efficacy after the first year in undergraduate engineering.Among the demographic variables, besides GPA noted above, males were foundto have higher initial academic self-efficacy, a finding long established in theliterature, though this study will determine if women catch up over the course oftheir college career After the first year, chemical engineering students reported thehighest academic self-efficacy. Those in the upper socioeconomic strata alongwith aerospace majors reported high career self-efficacy. Finally, older students,as might be expected, had the highest initial work self-efficacy. This paper willpresent the background, conceptual framework, and methodology of the study aswell as the results to date with recommendations / implications for first yearprograms.
Reisberg, R., & Raelin, J. A., & Bailey, M. B., & Hamann, J. C., & Whitman, D. L., & Pendleton, L. K. (2011, June), The Effect of Contextual Support in the First Year on Self-Efficacy in Undergraduate Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18697
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