Self-efficacy and outcome expectations influence the development of career interests, which, in turn, affect career choices. This study aims to understand self-efficacy beliefs and expectancy outcomes for African-American graduate students and faculty with a focus in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs, namely, the computing sciences.
This qualitative study examined the lived experiences of 23 African-American graduate students and faculty members in the STEM field of computing sciences.
This study reveals that in different stages of the STEM trajectory, self-efficacy of STEM and computing needs to be reestablished. This research captures a novel space in the self-efficacy literature, presenting self-efficacy as a mobile construct to be re-achieved as students’ progress toward advanced STEM degrees. In addition, this study asserts that the contribution and input of teachers, parents, mentors, counselors and peers has a deep impact on the level of self-efficacy and persistence in computing sciences.
Findings suggest a greater need for interventions designed to reestablish self-efficacy at each level (e.g. undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees) of the STEM educational trajectory in an effort to broaden STEM participation at the highest levels of degree attainment.
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