Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Education

Department/School/Program

STEM Education

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret J. Mohr-Schroeder

Abstract

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) outreach programs for high school students have become more widely available during the last decade in an effort to drive more graduates into the ever-growing STEM field in the United States. This study utilizes the Longitudinal Assessment of Engineering Self-Efficacy (LAESE) survey to investigate a possible relationship between specific pre-college STEM outreach programs and noncognitive predictors of success in first-year undergraduate engineering students. Students in their first semester of a first-year engineering program at a large, public research university completed the LAESE survey and were asked to identify their participation in one of three defined modes of pre-college (high school) STEM program exposure: 1) no pre-college STEM program exposure, 2) informal pre-college STEM program exposure, or 3) formal pre-college STEM program exposure. Results indicated that students with formal or no pre-college STEM program exposure had lower, negative values of engineering self-efficacy, career success expectations and feelings of inclusion in their undergraduate program. Students who had informal pre-college STEM program exposure had higher, positive values. These results support the need for noncognitive assessment for differentiated, targeted support of first-year engineering students, with or without pre-college STEM program exposure.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2021.125

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