This study is an investigation into female high school seniors in the USC-MESA program and how the role of self-efficacy perceptions in mathematics and science relates to their college major choice. Bandura’s theory on self-efficacy provides the backdrop for this study. This study is qualitative and takes an ethnographic approach incorporating 23 interviews, 2 focus groups, 49.5 hours of observation, and document analysis. Results show that female high school seniors participating in the USC-MESA program demonstrate a strong self-efficacy perception in mathematics and science through their academic choices and pursuits in high school and beyond. This finding confirms a linear approach in understanding how courses taken in high school contribute to the trajectory of college academic choices. It also challenges the theory of self-efficacy in math and science to examine historically underrepresented populations in the field and the external factors that play a key role in their persistence to pursue STEM fields in college and beyond.
|Commitee:||Tobey, Patricia, Venegas, Kristan|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mathematics education, Science education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||MESA program, Mathematics, Science, Self-efficacy, University of Southern California, Women|
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