Impact of dual credit introduction to engineering course on female high school students' self-efficacy and decisions to follow a career in engineering (evaluation)

J. Jill Rogers, Amy Annette Rogers, James C Baygents

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ENGR 102 HS is a dual credit, introduction to engineering course offered in 38 high schools across Arizona and Southern California. ENGR 102 HS is taught by high school teachers in public, charter and private high schools. Since its pilot effort in academic year 2008-09, the ENGR 102 HS program has provided 2,131 high school juniors and seniors with three units of college credit while they explore the field of engineering as a possible career choice. Many young people do not understand what engineering is and the creative work that engineers do. This is why a dual credit introduction to engineering course offered to high school students is so important. ENGR 102 HS curriculum focuses on presenting engineering as a helping profession that improves the human condition. Engineering service learning and biomedical projects are presented to pique the interest of a broad population of students. ENGR 102 HS allows students to try hands-on, design and build projects while still in high school where the risk is low and teacher scaffolding and contact time is high. This broad approach to an introduction to engineering course at the high school level is important to attracting the most diverse, brightest, and creative problem-solvers into the profession. This paper will briefly describe the ENGR 102 HS course curriculum. Five years of student course evaluation survey data (2011-2012 to 2015-2016) for 1469 students both female (N= 289) and male (N=1180) were explored. Statistically significant differences were found in the overall engineering self-efficacy of male and female students using independent sample t-tests. Univariate Analysis of Variance also revealed gender differences in the importance of various elements of self-efficacy to a student's interest in becoming an engineer. Specifically, self-efficacy in traditional STEM coursework predicted interest in becoming an engineer for male but not female students. For female students, experience in the ENGR 102 HS course was found to predict interest in becoming an engineer. This finding demonstrates the positive impact the ENGR 102 HS course has on female students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - Jun 24 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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