Women Engineering Students and Self-Efficacy: A Multi-Year, Multi-Institution Study of Women Engineering Student Self-Efficacy

Authors

  • Rose M. Marra,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Information Science and Learning Technologies University of Missouri
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    • Rose M. Marra is an associate professor in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri. She is PI of the NSF-funded Assessing Women and Men in Engineering (AWE) and Assessing Women in Student Environments (AWISE) projects. Her research interests include gender equity issues, the epistemological development of college students, and promoting meaningful learning in web-based environments.

  • Kelly A. Rodgers,

    Corresponding author
    1. Educational Psychology University of Texas at San Antonio
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    • Kelly A. Rodgers is an assistant professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Missouri and a BA. in Mathematics from Westminster College. Her primary research area is in the psychosocial and motivational aspects involved in the experiences of minority college students. Dr. Rodgers is also interested in academic motivation and the socio-emotional aspects of giftedness, particularly as they apply to minority adolescents.

  • Demei Shen,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Information Science and Learning Technologies University of Missouri
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    • Demei Shen is a post doctoral fellow in Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri. Her research interests include social computing and motivation in web-based learning.

  • Barbara Bogue

    Corresponding author
    1. Engineering Science and Mechanics The Pennsylvania State University
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    • Babara Bogue is Co-PI of AWE and AWISE and associate professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and Women in engineering. Her research interests include STEM programming, career development and assessment.


School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri, 303 Townsend Hall, Columbia MO 65211; telephone: (+1) 573.882.2877; e-mail: rmarra@missouri.edu.

Educational Psychology, University of Texas at San Antonio, 501 W. Durango Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78207; telephone: (+1) 210.458.2568; e-mail: kelly.rodgers@utsa.edu.

Townsend Hall, Columbia, MO 65211; telephone: (+1) 573.884.3111; e-mail: demeishen@gmail.com.

Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802; telephone: (+1) 814.865.4871; e-mail: bbogue@psu.edu.

Abstract

As our nation's need for engineering professionals grows, educators and industry leaders are increasingly becoming concerned with how to attract women to this traditionally male career path. Self-efficacy has been shown to be related to positive outcomes in studying and pursuing careers in non-traditional fields. This paper describes the results of two years of engineering self-efficacy data collected from women engineering students at five institutions across the U.S. This study adds to the growing body of self-efficacy literature via its multi-year, multi-institution design and helps to clarify the impact of the engineering curriculum on self-efficacy. Results indicate that while women students show positive progress on some self-efficacy and related subscales, they show a significant decrease on feelings of inclusion from the first to second measurement period and further suggest a relationship between ethnicity and feelings of inclusion. Additionally, correlations show that self-efficacy is related to women students' plans to persist in this predominantly male discipline.

Ancillary