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The Effect of Cooperative Education on the Self-efficacy of Students in Undergraduate Engineering

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

What Are We Learning About Co-op and Experiential Education Experience?

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count

19

Page Numbers

25.1293.1 - 25.1293.19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22050

Download Count

95

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Paper Authors

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Rachelle Reisberg Northeastern University

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

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Joseph A. Raelin Northeastern University

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Joe Raelin is an international authority in work-based learning and collaborative leadership development. He holds the Asa S. Knowles Chair of Practice-Oriented Education at Northeastern University. A Ph.D. in policy studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Raelin received his formal training as an employment researcher. Since then, he has produced over 100 journal publications in the leading management and social science journals. Among his books are: Building A Career, The Clash of Cultures: Managers Managing Professionals, Work-Based Learning, and Creating Leaderful Organizations.

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Margaret B. Bailey Rochester Institute of Technology

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Dr. Margaret B. Bailey, P.E. is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering within the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) located in Rochester, New York. Dr. Bailey is also the Founding Executive Director for the nationally recognized women in engineering program called WE@RIT. At the Institute level, Dr. Bailey serves as Faculty Associate to the Provost for Female Faculty and she co-chairs the President's Commission on Women. Dr. Bailey teaches courses and/or conducts research related to Thermodynamics, engineering and public policy, engineering education, and gender in engineering and science.

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David L. Whitman University of Wyoming

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David L. Whitman, P.E. received the B.S. degree (1975) in EE from the University of Wyoming. He also received the Ph.D. degree (1978) in Mineral Engineering 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.

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Jerry Carl Hamann University of Wyoming

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Jerry Hamann is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wyoming and Department Head of computer science. His academic interests include science, math, and technology education, as well as research in signals, systems, and control.

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Leslie K. Pendleton Virginia Tech

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Leslie Pendleton has 22 years of teaching, advising, research, service/outreach, and administrative experience in various capacities within the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. For the last 13 years, she has been an Affiliate Faculty in women’s and gender studies.

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Abstract

The Effect of Cooperative Education on the Self-Efficacy of Students in Undergraduate EngineeringAbstractThis study examines the effect of cooperative education on self-efficacy, which isdefined as an individual’s perceived level of competence or the degree to whichan individual believes he/she is capable of completing a task. It examines theeffect of three dimensions of self-efficacy: work, career, and academic,controlling for contextual support and demographic characteristics. It is based ona pathways model that links contextual support and cooperative education andother forms of student work experience, such as internships, to self-efficacy as abasis for retention in college and success within a students’ engineering major.The data pool for this study was constituted of all sophomores in the colleges ofengineering from four participating universities (two primarily “co-op schools”).Student respondents initially filled out a 20-minute survey (referred to as Survey1), among which were assessments of the three forms of self-efficacy. One yearlater, they completed a comparable post-survey (Survey 2). The total number ofrespondents to Survey 1 was 1637 students, of which 344 were female. Theresponse rate for Survey 2 (calculated as the number of respondents from Survey1 who successfully filled out Survey 2) was 54% and represents 889 students, ofwhich 216 were female. During the period between surveys, 65% of the studentscompleting Survey 2 reported participating in a co-op and an additional 118(13%) undertook an internship.Of the three forms of self-efficacy, work self-efficacy was found to be the oneefficacy form impacted by cooperative education. Work self-efficacy measures arange of behaviors and practices – e.g., exhibiting teamwork, expressingsensitivity, managing politics, handling pressure – attending to students’ beliefs intheir command of the social requirements necessary for success in the workplace.Since self-efficacy is shaped by performance accomplishments, student success intheir co-op jobs appears to enhance their confidence in performing a variety ofthese work-based behaviors. Change in work self-efficacy was also affected bychange in student’s confidence in their choice of engineering as a career. It wasfound that the quality of the co-op placement, in particular such dimensions as thechance to make a difference, to apply knowledge from one’s major, and to be partof a team enhanced students’ subsequent work self-efficacy. Co-op students werefound to rely less on support provided by their colleges, friends, parents or bytheir academic advisors.The finding regarding the impact of co-op on work self-efficacy is claimed here toopen up the so-called “black box of co-op” to articulate the practices andbehaviors of cooperative education that shape its unique contribution to theundergraduate experience.

Reisberg, R., & Raelin, J. A., & Bailey, M. B., & Whitman, D. L., & Hamann, J. C., & Pendleton, L. K. (2012, June), The Effect of Cooperative Education on the Self-efficacy of Students in Undergraduate Engineering Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/22050

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