June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1475.1 - 10.1475.15
Women Engineering Students’ Self-Efficacy Beliefs – The Longitudinal Picture
Rose M. Marra, Mieke Schuurman; Cherith Moore Barbara Bogue University of Missouri – Columbia / The Pennsylvania State University
Many sources and historical data have shown the consistently low representation of women in undergraduate engineering curricula and in the engineering workforce. Specifically, women comprise approximately only 20% of undergraduate engineering school enrollment nationwide and only about 8.5 % of the United State’s engineers 1. Establishing WIE programs at approximately 50 colleges and universities around the United States has been one response to this situation 2. WIE programs serve many functions, but their primary responsibilities focus on recruitment of women into engineering undergraduate programs and then retention and development of those same women within their programs of study. Initially, this may sound well defined, but the ways in which WIE programs work to accomplish these outcomes vary tremendously. For WIE programs to be maximally effective, they must have access to validated assessment instruments for measuring the effectiveness of their recruitment and retention activities for WIE studies. Such assessment results can provide the basis for the development and revamping of effective activities designed to meet program objectives and missions.
This paper reports the first longitudinal results of a survey undertaken as part of the National Science Foundation-funded Assessing Women in Engineering (AWE) project. The instrument is designed to measure undergraduate women students’ self-efficacy in studying engineering. Self- efficacy is “belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the sources of action necessary to manage prospective situations" 3. Prior work from Blaisdell4 has shown that feelings of efficaciousness can be an important predictor in the success of women studying engineering. In our project, we developed a survey instrument designed to measure self-efficacy in engineering, feelings of inclusion and outcomes expectations, and have collected longitudinal responses from undergraduate women studying engineering at four institutions: Penn State University (PSU), Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech), University of Texas – Austin (UT Austin) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).
The data were analyzed to examine the following questions.
1. Did students’ responses change longitudinally from early spring 2003 to fall 2003? 2. Do students’ responses vary longitudinally from one institution to another?
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education.
Marra, R., & Moore, C., & Schuurman, M., & Bogue, B. (2005, June), Women Engineering Students’ Self Efficacy Beliefs – The Longitudinal Picture Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14149
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