PurposeSelf-efficacy and outcome expectations influence the development of career interests, which, in turn, affect career choices. This study aims to understand self-efficacy beliefs and expectancy outcomes for African-American graduate students and faculty with a focus in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs, namely, the computing sciences.Design/methodology/approachThis qualitative study examined the lived experiences of 23 African-American graduate students and faculty members in the STEM field of computing sciences.FindingsThis study reveals that in different stages of the STEM trajectory, self-efficacy of STEM and computing needs to be reestablished. This research captures a novel space in the self-efficacy literature, presenting self-efficacy as a mobile construct to be re-achieved as students’ progress toward advanced STEM degrees. In addition, this study asserts that the contribution and input of teachers, parents, mentors, counselors and peers has a deep impact on the level of self-efficacy and persistence in computing sciences.Originality/valueFindings suggest a greater need for interventions designed to reestablish self-efficacy at each level (e.g. undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees) of the STEM educational trajectory in an effort to broaden STEM participation at the highest levels of degree attainment.
Journal for Multicultural Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 13, 2016