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A Demographic Analysis of Engineering Majors with an Interest in Teaching

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Extending a Hand Back: Older Students Inspiring Younger Students

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.32.1 - 22.32.30



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Paper Authors


Sunni H. Newton Georgia Institute of Technology

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Sunni H. Newton is currently in her fifth year of Georgia Tech's Ph.D. program in industrial organizational psychology, with a minor in quantitative psychology. She attended Georgia Tech as an undergraduate, double-majoring in psychology and management. She worked for several years as a graduate research assistant in a psychology lab where she helped conduct studies on adult learning. She currently works as a graduate research assistant in Georgia Tech's Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning where she assists with assessment and data analysis for ongoing CETL projects. Her masters thesis involved an investigation of caffeine and cognitive fatigue. Her current research involves the topics of workaholism and work-family conflict.

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Tristan T. Utschig Georgia Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Tristan T. Utschig is a Senior Academic Professional in the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and is Assistant Director for the Scholarship and Assessment of Teaching and Learning at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Formerly, he was Associate Professor of Engineering Physics at Lewis-Clark State College. Dr. Utschig has regularly published and presented work on a variety of topics including assessment instruments and methodologies, using technology in the classroom, faculty development in instructional design, teaching diversity, and peer coaching. Dr. Utschig completed his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His technical expertise involves analysis of thermal systems for fusion reactor designs.

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Donna C. Llewellyn Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Llewellyn is the Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Georgia Tech. Her primary professional interests are in the area of faculty and graduate student professional development, engineering education research, and increasing access and support for under-represented minorities in the field of engineering.

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Analyzing Engineering Majors with an Interest in TeachingAbstractThis work describes a demographic analysis of student participation in teaching relatedprofessional development programming at a research extensive university. Nationally sponsoredefforts to increase the STEM workforce in the United States have gained recent prominencethrough such programs at the Race to the Top. Therefore, it is vital that we understand thecharacteristics of students who wish to help the nation meet its goals as educators who will helpstudents at all levels become part of the STEM workforce.In this work, we present typical characteristics for engineering majors displaying an interest inteaching as a potential career, where this interest is demonstrated by participation in specificprogramming designed to highlight the teaching pathway as a potential career option. This workbuilds on previous work published regarding this program in two ways: first, demographic databeyond gender and major are presented and now include ethnicity, GPA, age, class standing,transfer status, co-op status, and full or part-time status; second, both graduate and undergraduatedata is presented rather than undergraduate data only. This study was approved by theInstitutional Review Board and contains the following design components.The context for implementation of this study is a series of professional development activities forteaching and learning that includes advising, coursework, a la carte workshops, and mentoringand practicum experiences. Student participation in these activities has been trackedlongitudinally for two years with well over 380 students in database. Demographic data aboutthese students has been collected.Previous results have shown a disproportionate number of female students and students majoringin biomedical, chemical and bio-molecular, and industrial and systems engineering choosing toparticipate in programming for teaching careers. The paper expands this analysis to additionaldemographic characteristics and presents data on longitudinal participation trends for thispopulation. We also offer interpretations of what this data might mean when planningrecruitment strategies to bring engineering students into teaching careers.This work will contribute significantly to the available literature on recruitment of engineers aspotential teachers, and sheds light on how the current student population is reflected in nationalefforts to bolster the STEM workforce.

Newton, S. H., & Utschig, T. T., & Llewellyn, D. C. (2011, June), A Demographic Analysis of Engineering Majors with an Interest in Teaching Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17314

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