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Professional Competency Self-Efficacy of Undergraduate Environmental Studies Students: A Case Study of Gender Differences and Longitudinal Change

An examination of pre-program self-efficacy data indicate statistical differences between males and females that are consistent with social role theory that posits that gender traits are developed as a result of the differential roles that women and men occupy in society. A comparison of the pre- and post-scores for paired female data indicate that overall female self-efficacy showed a general increase for 18 of 23 competencies. Statistically significant increases in female-student confidence in their abilities occurred in continuous learning, employee development, presenting, diplomacy, and written communication.

Paired pre-post male data indicate that overall male self-efficacy for 19 of 23 competencies increased. Statistically significant increases in male-student self-efficacy occurred in employee development/coaching and diplomacy. Increases in self-efficacy data supports the contention that development of 21st century competencies is occurring as the students actively engage in activities where they can practice these skills.

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