First-Year Engineering Students' Perceptions of their Abilities to Succeed Conference Paper uri icon


  • American Society for Engineering Education, 2017. The engineering foundation course outcomes identified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) are common across colleges and universities. A group of professors at a university located in the southwestern region of the United States is conducting engineering enculturation research of first-year engineering (FYE) students to the engineering profession. Engineering as a profession has its own norms, values, and practices that are unique to its culture. Students begin to learn and assimilate to this engineering culture of the moment that they begin their academic journey. The literature has indicated that there are several success factors for students during their first year of college in an engineering curriculum. How well a student assimilates to a culture is a key success factor. In research, a person's perception is said to be an important factor that effects both their willingness to persist and successfully achieve their goals. This research can help to inform both literature and practice by shedding empirical insight into factors that enable the successful matriculation of students through their FYE program. During the FYE foundation class, engineering students, primarily freshman, self-reported on their perceptions of their abilities to perform on the engineering foundation course outcomes as were established by ABET. In this quantitative assessment, the professors analyzed the Likertscale data collected from 187 engineering students from multiple sections of an engineering foundation course. Research has shown that a person's belief in their abilities is critical in translating their confidence into successful actions. Likewise, the engineering student's belief in his or her ability to perform foundational math, science, and analytical problem solving skills, as well as be a productive member of a high achieving team, will increase the probability that the student will perform well academically, persist through engineering curricula successfully and become a practicing engineer. This paper contains the initial results from this ongoing research to assess the student's perceptions of ABET foundational engineering outcomes.

name of conference

  • 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings

published proceedings

  • 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • Wickliff, T., Mendoza Diaz, N., Richard, J., & Yoon, S. Y.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Wickliff, Tanya||Mendoza Diaz, Noemi||Richard, Jacques||Yoon, So Yoon

publication date

  • January 2017