June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Minorities in Engineering
26.93.1 - 26.93.12
A Qualitative First Look at African American Students’ Perceptions of Developing Engineer of 2020 Traits Through Non-curricular ActivitiesThis paper describes results to date of a qualitative research study investigating theinfluence of certain non-curricular organizations on the development of Engineer of 2020traits in African American students. The students and alumni members we focus onparticipated in at least one of the following types of organizations:: Black GreekOrganizations (BGOs), Minority in Engineering Programs (MEPs), and the NationalSociety of Black Engineers (NSBE).The paper addresses the following research questions: (1) How does participation inNSBE, BGOs, and MEPs contribute to African American student and alumnidevelopment of the attributes of the Engineer of 2020, and what are the uniquecontributions of each? (2) How do African American engineering students and alumniperceive such participation as enhancing persistence, success and career opportunities inundergraduate engineering studies? and (3) How do African American engineeringstudents and alumni perceive participation in these activities as influencing their careerexperiences, achievement and contributions to society through the engineeringprofession?Participants were purposefully selected for semi-structured interviews from a database ofpotential participants who completed a related survey in 2012. The first round ofinterviews focused on African American students and alumni who attendedpredominantly white institutions as undergraduates. Separate analyses of transcripts werecompleted from a grounded theory and as well as a priori coding from related highereducational and student affairs literature.Results to date show some common experiences among participants; mentoring,relationships with peers, and participation summer bridge programs (generally run byMEPs). These common experiences served as an introduction or gateway to furtherinvolvement in NSBE and/or BGOs. Participants strongly ascribe their development ofindividual Engineer of 2020 traits to their non-curricular activities, particularly NSBE.Furthermore, the African American participants describe these organizations as servingas cultural enclaves on predominantly white campuses.Ongoing and future exploration includes comparison of current results to participantsfrom historically-Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and participants who werenot involved in NSBE (to explore in more depth the influence of the other organizations).
Martin, J. P., & Garrett, S. D., & Adams, S. G., & Hamilton, J. (2015, June), A Qualitative Look at African American Students’ Perceptions of Developing Engineer of 2020 Traits Through Non-curricular Activities Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23434
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