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The Impact of Summer Research Experiences on Community College Students' Self-Efficacy

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Addressing Diversity Issues in Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Lea K Marlor University of California, Berkeley

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Lea Marlor is the Education and Outreach Program Manager for the Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science, a NSF-funded Science and Technology Center at the University of California, Berkeley. She manages undergraduate research programs to recruit and retain underrepresented students in science and engineering and also outreach to pre-college students to introduce them to science and engineering career opportunities. Ms. Marlor joined University of California, Berkeley in 2013. She has a B.S. in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Catherine T. Amelink Virginia Tech

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Dr. Amelink is Director of Graduate Programs and Assessment in the College of Engineering, Virginia Tech. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the Departments of Engineering Education and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Virginia Tech.

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The Transfer-to-Excellence Research Experience for Undergraduates program (TTE REU) offers multi-disciplinary research projects to community college students in California, hosted by the University of California, Berkeley. The overall goal of the TTE REU program is to increase the number of students transferring to a 4 year school to major in science and engineering by enhancing self-efficacy. To date, the TTE REU program has supported 55 community college students. Each TTE participant is hosted and advised by a faculty member and mentored by a graduate student mentor, who provides day to day support to the student during their nine-week internship in an independent research project. This paper will focus on the impact this program has on the students self-reporting of their self-efficacy through an analysis of the program participants and the students who applied but were not accepted into the program. All TTE REU participants were surveyed before and after the research experience and asked 4 self-efficacy questions. Most of the students’ reports of self-efficacy increased after the completion of the summer research program. In addition to the pre-post survey comparison among TTE participants, we administered a survey to a group of community college students that applied to but did not participate in the TTE program. The non-participant group received the same survey as the TTE participants during the post-participation period. Having a group of participants and non-participants allowed us to compare whether the TTE group reported higher self-efficacy than their peers who would not have had the opportunity to participate in a similar experience.

Marlor, L. K., & Amelink, C. T. (2016, June), The Impact of Summer Research Experiences on Community College Students' Self-Efficacy Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27358

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