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Title: Extracurricular College Activities Fostering Students’ Innovation Self-efficacy.
This study examines the relationship between participation in extracurricular college activities and its possible impact on students’ career interests in entrepreneurship and innovation. This work draws from the Engineering Majors Survey (EMS), focusing on innovation self-efficacy and how it may be impacted by participation in various extracurricular college activities. The term self-efficacy as developed by Albert Bandura is defined as “people’s judgment of their capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances” (Bandura, 1986, p.391). Innovation self-efficacy is a variable consisting of six items that correspond to Dyer’s five discovery skills seen as important for innovative behavior. In order to investigate the relationship between participation in certain activities and innovation self-efficacy, the 20 activities identified in the EMS survey were grouped thematically according to their relevance to entrepreneurship-related topics. Students were divided into two groups using K-means cluster analysis according to their innovation selfefficacy (ISE.6) score. Cluster one (C1) contained the students with higher ISE.6 scores, Cluster two (C2) included the students with lower innovation self-efficacy scores. This preliminary research focused on descriptive analyses while also looking at different background characteristics such as gender, academic status and underrepresented minority status (URM). The results show that students in C1 (high ISE.6) have significantly greater interest in starting an organization (78.1%) in comparison to more » C2 students (21.9%) (X²=81.11, p=.000, Cramer’s V= .124). At the same time, male students reported significantly higher ISE.6 scores (M=66.70, SD=17.53) than female students (M=66.70, SD=17.53) t(5192)=-5.220 p=.000 and stronger intentions to start an organization than female students (15% and 6.1 % respectively). Cluster affiliation representing innovation self-efficacy as well as gender seems to play a role when looking at career interest in entrepreneurship. According to Social Cognitive Career Theory, self-efficacy is influenced by learning experiences. In this work activities referring to hands-on activities in entrepreneurship and innovation are highly correlated with ISE.6 (r=.206, p=.000), followed by non-hands-on exposure to entrepreneurship and innovation. At the same time, students in C1 participated almost twice as often in hands-on activities in entrepreneurship and innovation (28.6%) as compared to students in C2 (15.2%). Interestingly in C1, there were no gender differences in participation in hands-on activities in entrepreneurship and innovation. Overall, female students (M=4.66, SD=2.5) participated in significantly more activities than male students (M=3.9, SD=2.64), t(5192)=9.65 p=.000. All in all, these results reveal interesting insights into the potential benefits of taking part in innovation and entrepreneurship-related activities and their impact on students’ innovation self-efficacy and interests in corresponding careers. « less
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Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Eduation
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National Science Foundation
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