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Self-efficacy of college freshmen engaged in STEM outreach

Stephen H Patchin, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Not since the Cold War and the launch of Sputnik has there been such a focus on producing college graduates in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). As manually driven careers disappear, new diverse careers are created and they have one thing in common, STEM. As students move into these challenging curriculums they will need to have faith in their abilities to achieve their goals. This self-efficacy is vital component for their collegiate and career success. This mixed methods study examines the unique pre-college STEM outreach phenomenon called Mind Trekkers. Mind Trekkers uses the ‘WOW’ of experiential learning in the areas of STEM to motivate K-12 students to engage in STEM related fields. The focus of the study is on the first-year college freshmen that join this program, becoming STEM serviceteers, and how being part of this STEM phenomenon impacts their self-efficacy. The findings can be summed up in a quote I get to help people understanding in a different way than I would if I was just doing volunteering like I did in high school. It’s cool. I just love it and it gives me the confidence that what I am doing is the right thing here at (the university). (Jean) The results of the study indicate that the Mind Trekkers program acted as a catalyst to increase the self-efficacy of the students that participated in it, through personal social and academic impact.^

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Science education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Patchin, Stephen H, "Self-efficacy of college freshmen engaged in STEM outreach" (2016). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10102742.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI10102742

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