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ERIC Number: ED547812
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 226
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-2710-6
"I Don't Want to Be an Almost Engineer": Women's Voices of Persistence in Undergraduate Engineering Degrees
Yates, Heather N.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Oklahoma State University
This narrative qualitative study focused on the experiences of four women pursuing undergraduate engineering degrees and how the experiences affect their self-efficacy and in turn persistence in the degree. The use of narrative methodologies allowed the addition of the voice of the women engineering students to the study providing a more robust description of challenges and support as perceived by the women students. Feminist standpoint theory and Bandura's (1986, 1997) self-efficacy theory informed this research. The beliefs of a person based on their standpoint can be applied to research centered on women pursuing engineering degrees because how these women view the world, or their reality, is formed from their own interpretation of their personal experiences. By listening to the stories of the women pursuing engineering degrees the researcher can understand what experiences affect women's self-efficacy. Furthermore, past research demonstrates self-efficacy is a direct predictor of persistence. The qualitative study utilized individual interviews and journaling to probe what influenced women to persist in completing the engineering degree and how their experiences affected their self-efficacy. The data collection techniques elicited stories about their experiences pursuing an engineering degree. Through the analysis of data, definite themes emerged through the expressed commonalities of the women's experiences. There seemed to be a definite relationship between their persistence and positive self-efficacy. All of the participants identified experiences that supported the growth of positive self-efficacy, for example: support from family, friends, the university, and professional engineers. Additionally, they identified barriers that hindered self-efficacy including, not having enough time, extreme competition for grades, feeling isolated, needing to prove themselves in the classroom, and their fear of the engineering workforce. The data was analyzed through the feminist standpoint theory lens, self-efficacy lens, and the new frame that emerged, feminist self-efficacy. The participants described two views of reality, one from their own standpoint, and another from the perspective of the male majority. This double consciousness leads to stories of sexism and internalized sexism in engineering education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A