June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Women in Engineering
13.1378.1 - 13.1378.13
Variances in Coping Efficacy among Women STEM Students: Is Gender or Discipline More Influential?
This study uses Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) to examine the coping efficacy of high achieving women STEM students as it relates to their post baccalaureate career decisions. Differences between male and female students were examined to answer the following question: Is gender or academic discipline most influential in students’ perception of their ability to cope with the challenges associated with pursuing a post baccalaureate degree. Quantitative data was obtained via the first phase of a multi method longitudinal study conducted at a HBCU in fall 2006 using a sample of 51 high achieving (GPA>3.0) Black STEM students. Findings revealed that when compared to men, women are more likely to pursue professional or graduate school upon graduation; however, there were no statistically significant differences in coping efficacy. Overall, study findings provide insights about the role that academic climate plays on the post baccalaureate decision making process.
Research suggest that the number of women earning baccalaureate degrees in science and engineering has increased every year since 1966 (excluding 1988) and by 2004 women earned 44% of master’s degrees in science and engineering (as illustrated in Figures 1 and 2)1. Although the number of baccalaureate degrees for men in science and engineering reached over 224,000 in 2004, the number of master’s degrees earned by men in the sciences and engineering declined during the 1990s (as illustrated in Figures 1 and 2)2.
Figure 1. Bachelor's degrees awarded in S&E and non-S&E fields by sex: 1966–2004
Source: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, special tabulations of U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Completions Survey,1966–2001.
Dover, V., & Williams, D., & Fleming, L., & Quinones, V. (2008, June), Variances In Coping Efficacy Among Women Stem Students: Is Gender Or Discipline More Influential? Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4100
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