This engineering education research project seeks to learn why the engineering service organization Engineers Without Borders is successful at attracting a large number of women volunteers and thus better understand the factors that can help recruit women into engineering degree programs. The project uses the constructs of self-efficacy and outcome beliefs to examine why individuals make choices about engineering degree programs and future career paths.
The broader significance and importance of this project will be to potentially inform engineering educators and policy makers about why women, who are significantly under-represented in engineering, are attracted to some engineering organizations but not engineering degree programs in general. The study will also shed light on why women who obtain engineering degrees may choose not use take advantage of that degree by following an engineering career. Given the large personal and societal investment in engineering degrees, this may have far-reaching impact on the number of engineers in the United States.