June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Women in Engineering
26.1574.1 - 26.1574.15
2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition / Women in Engineering Division The Roots of Science, Mathematics and Engineering Self-Confidence in College Students: Voices of Successful Undergraduate Women AbstractWith the percentage of women in STEM majors at _____ University, a large Hispanic ServingInstitution, significantly lower than the percentage of women attending the university in general,the authors sought to understand this gap by studying the perspectives of undergraduate womenwho have successfully persisted in a STEM field of study at the same university. Specifically,the goal of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of what experiences women creditedfor influencing their self-efficacy, the development of their career interest goals and theiracademic course outcomes as related to studying science, technology, engineering andmathematics (STEM). This study was also designed to identify experiences that appear tocontribute to women’s identity development and self-confidence. Data was collected andanalyzed to identify if similar patterns exist between subjects and if so, which are the greaterinfluencers in their decision to select a STEM major and to persist beyond the critical first twoyears of undergraduate studies.The literature of socialization and identity development as related to women as STEM learners indiverse communities is reviewed. This study begins to create an understanding of how womenthink about their multiple social identities (field of study, gender, culture, etc.). Focus groupstrategies for obtaining in-depth feedback regarding young women’s attitudes, perceptions,motivations, and behaviors is discussed. Observations and recommendations regarding the2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition / Women in Engineering Division research methodologies for study design and data analysis are presented with particular attentionto the rationale for cultural responsive practices in qualitative research. A mixed methodsresearch approach including the use of surveys and focus groups was used to collect studentperceptions from junior and senior status students in STEM fields of study. Preliminary resultsindicate that students identify early personal experiences as building their self-confidence andcontributing to their identity development. Drawing on self-perception theory, women appear todevelop a more robust sense of persistence and feel that they fit into STEM- even when facedwith sexism from other students.
Talley, K. G., & Ortiz, A. M. (2015, June), The Roots of Science, Mathematics and Engineering Self-confidence in College Students: Voices of Successful Undergraduate Women Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24911
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