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A work in progress narrative literature review exploring the impact of minority engineering programs on the experiences of Black students in undergraduate engineering programs

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Conference

2024 Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity (CoNECD)

Location

Arlington, Virginia

Publication Date

February 25, 2024

Start Date

February 25, 2024

End Date

February 27, 2024

Conference Session

Track 8: Technical Session 6: A work in progress narrative literature review exploring the impact of minority engineering programs on the experiences of Black students in undergraduate engineering programs

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Sessions

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--45427

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/45427

Download Count

43

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Paper Authors

biography

Stephanie A Damas Clemson University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5397-7577

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Stephanie Ashley Damas is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Clemson University, studying Engineering and Science Education. Her area of interest is Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering. She holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Florida State University.

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biography

Lisa Benson Clemson University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5517-2289

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Lisa Benson is a professor in the Department of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University. Her research focuses on the interactions between student motivation and their learning experiences. Her projects include studies of student perceptions, beliefs and attitudes towards becoming engineers and scientists, and their development of problem-solving skills, self-regulated learning practices, and epistemic thinking. Other projects in the Benson group involve students’ navigational capital, and researchers’ schema development through the peer review process. Dr. Benson is the past editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, an American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Fellow, a member of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI), American Educational Research Association (AERA) and Tau Beta Pi, and the 2018 recipient of the Clemson University Class of ’39 Award for Faculty Excellence. She earned a B.S. in Bioengineering (1978) from the University of Vermont, and M.S. (1986) and Ph.D. (2002) in Bioengineering from Clemson University.

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Abstract

In engineering, Black students face stereotypes against the ability of Black people to “do math and science” and the racist beliefs and actions of professors, administrators, and students. These beliefs permeate the culture, policies, and practices of engineering programs. Many Black students rely on minority engineering programs (MEPs), programs created at institutions to recruit and retain minority students in engineering, to serve as a safe space that can lead to elevated levels of agency and positive identity development despite their engineering culture. MEPs emerged to provide minority students with community and academic support in response to the alarming number of minority students that left the major each year. MEPs can be community focal points and provide resources that help them succeed in engineering. Some Black students attribute their engineering success to MEPs, mentioning the positive environment, academic support, and access to representative advocacy. While some studies show that Black students primarily use MEPs as a form of social capital, MEPs can serve as a counterspace for Black students by providing them with a space to empower their racial identity. The argument can be made that MEPs push back on cultural norms by existing as a space that rejects the stereotypical narrative of what it means to be Black in engineering. A space like this can lead to elevated levels of agency and positive identity development and facilitate thriving within one’s engineering program. This introductory narrative literature review aims to identify the current state of the literature regarding the effect of MEPs on the experiences of Black students in undergraduate engineering programs at predominantly White institutions. The findings of this review have the potential to support further MEPs’ role in the collegiate experiences of Black students in engineering. This paper will also identify the gap in the literature regarding the study of MEPs in the context of Black student engineering education at predominantly White institutions.

Damas, S. A., & Benson, L. (2024, February), A work in progress narrative literature review exploring the impact of minority engineering programs on the experiences of Black students in undergraduate engineering programs Paper presented at 2024 Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity (CoNECD), Arlington, Virginia. 10.18260/1-2--45427

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2024 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015