Exploring First-Year Engineering Students' Innovation Self-Efficacy Beliefs by Gender and Discipline

Dina Verdín, Allison Godwin, Brianna Benedict

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The expectations for engineers to solve complex, global issues are growing at rates that exceed current curricula in engineering education. Studies show that early career engineering students are not confident in their ability to innovate. In this paper, the authors investigated the innovation self-efficacy beliefs (i.e., questioning, observing, experimenting, idea networking, and associational thinking) of first-year engineering students and how those beliefs might differ by gender and engineering discipline. This study used multiple regression to examine the innovation self-efficacy beliefs of 2,678 first-year engineering students. Findings indicate men interested in construction management engineering had significant innovation self-efficacy beliefs in all areas except idea networking. Of those interested in civil engineering, only women were more likely to hold innovation self-efficacy beliefs in the area of experimenting. The authors' work highlights how students enter college with positive innovation self-efficacy beliefs and uncovers specific behavioral and cognitive skills that can be developed through the engineering curricula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04020006
JournalJournal of Civil Engineering Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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