Asee peer logo

The Effect of Cooperative Education, Contextual Support, and Self-Efficacy on Male and Female Student Retention

Download Paper |

Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count

34

Page Numbers

24.1202.1 - 24.1202.34

DOI

10.18260/1-2--23135

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23135

Download Count

276

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Joseph A. Raelin Northeastern University

visit author page

Joe Raelin is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of work-based learning and leadership. He holds the Asa S. Knowles Chair of Practice-Oriented Education at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business in Boston, where is he also a professor of management.

visit author page

biography

Margaret B. Bailey Rochester Institute of Technology

visit author page

Professor Margaret Bailey, Ph.D., P.E., is a professor of mechanical engineering within the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She teaches courses and conducts research related to thermodynamics, engineering and public policy, engineering education, and gender in engineering and science. She is the co-author of an engineering textbook, Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics. Dr. Bailey also serves as the principal investigator of the RIT NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant. At the university level, she serves as faculty associate to the provost and co-chairs the President’s Commission on Women.

visit author page

biography

Jerry Carl Hamann University of Wyoming

visit author page

Jerry Hamann is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wyoming. His academic areas of expertise include applied signal processing and automatic controls, with a growing interest in reconfigurable embedded systems for robotics and ad hoc networks. Jerry has a deep interest in pedagogy and has pursued efforts to better understand the learning environment, particularly as it is seen in the STEM disciplines.

visit author page

biography

Rachelle Reisberg Northeastern University

visit author page

Rachelle Reisberg is Assistant Dean for Engineering Enrollment and Retention as well as Director of Women in Engineering at Northeastern University. She was the PI on the Pathways research grant funded by NSF's Gender in Science and Engineering program. Prior to joining Northeastern University, Rachelle held a wide range of management positions and was the president of a high tech start-up company.

visit author page

biography

David L. Whitman P.E. University of Wyoming

visit author page

David L. Whitman, P.E., Ph.D., F.ASEE, received a B.S. degree (1975) in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. degree (1978) in mineral engineering, both from the University of Wyoming. He worked in the synthetic fuels arena prior to becoming a faculty member in petroleum engineering at the University of Wyoming in 1981. From 1989 to 2005, he was the associate dean of academics and since 2005 has been a professor of electrical and computer engineering. He received UW's College of Engineering Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1990 and 2004, and the ASEE Rocky Mountain Section Outstanding Teaching Award in 2001. He is currently the past president of the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES), chairman of the IEEE-USA Licensure & Registration Committee and an active member of ASEE.

visit author page

author page

Leslie K. Pendleton Virginia Tech

Download Paper |

Abstract

A Longitudinal Study of Retention among Undergraduate Engineering Students Based on Co-op Industry Placements, Self- Efficacy, Contextual Support, and Demographic CharacteristicsAbstractThis study presents the final results of a three-year longitudinal study of retention among male andfemale undergraduate engineering students enrolled at four universities. It examines the effect ofcooperative education placements, contextual support, demographic characteristics, and threedimensions of self-efficacy and their change over time on retention, starting with the sophomoreyear. It is based on a pathways model that links contextual support and cooperative education andother forms of work experience to self-efficacy as a basis for retention in college and in theengineering major. As a longitudinal study, it incorporates measures at three time periods duringthe students’ academic experience: their second, third, and fourth years in undergraduate education.The original data pool constituted all second-year (sophomore) students in the colleges ofengineering from the four participating universities. Student respondents initially filled out a 20-minute survey, among which were assessments of three forms of self-efficacy: work, career, andacademic. They then filled out comparable post-surveys one and two years later (as third andfourth-year students) during which those selecting co-op could have completed at least their firstset of co-op placements.The findings verified the pathways model. Academic self-efficacy and contextual support (suchas support from friends and from one’s college) in all time periods were found to be critical toretention. Contextual support was found to be particularly important to women and appears toserve as an inducement to stay in school and in engineering. Work self-efficacy, developed bystudents between their second and fourth years in school, was also an important factor inretention, though it is strongly tied to the students’ participation in co-op programs. It wasfound, at the final survey point of the study, that the more co-ops taken by students, the highertheir retention rate. It was also found that the quality of the industry placement, in particularthrough such dimensions as the chance to make a difference, to be part of a team, and to applyknowledge from one’s major, enhanced students’ subsequent work self-efficacy. Co-op studentswere also found to rely less on support provided by their colleges, friends, parents, and academicadvisors. They were also found to value the instruction of their professors less once returning toclass after their first co-op experience.Among the demographic variables, a relatively high GPA was found to be an inducement topersist in engineering and in school. It was also found, at the second survey point of the study,that a student’s prior SAT scores was a measurable predictor of retention. Finally, those studentswho were accustomed to work over a relatively long period of time were more inclined to leavethe university compared to those who had less work experience in their lifetimes.The findings in particular for co-op and contextual support in this study confirm the value ofstrong college-industry partnerships to provide quality placements for vital entry experienceswithin the workplace and to provide support, especially to women undergraduates, in the form ofcampus engagement to urge students to graduate and enter the engineering workforce.

Raelin, J. A., & Bailey, M. B., & Hamann, J. C., & Reisberg, R., & Whitman, D. L., & Pendleton, L. K. (2014, June), The Effect of Cooperative Education, Contextual Support, and Self-Efficacy on Male and Female Student Retention Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23135

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015