Asee peer logo

Women Engineering Students’ Self Efficacy Beliefs – The Longitudinal Picture

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Undergraduate Retention Activities

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1475.1 - 10.1475.15



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Rose Marra

author page

Cherith Moore

author page

Mieke Schuurman

author page

Barbara Bogue

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2592

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015