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Assessing Methods for Developing an Engineering Identity in the Classroom

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session 2: The Study of Identity in Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Meagan R. Kendall University of Texas, El Paso

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An Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at El Paso, Dr. Meagan R. Kendall is helping develop a new Engineering Leadership Program to enable students to bridge the gap between traditional engineering education and what they will really experience in industry. With a background in both engineering education and design thinking, her research focuses on how Latina/Latino students develop an identity as an engineer, methods for enhancing student motivation, and methods for involving students in curriculum development and teaching through Peer Designed Instruction.

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Luis Miguel Procter University of Texas, El Paso

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Luis M. Procter is currently pursuing a B.S. degree in engineering leadership with the University of Texas at El Paso, where he is an undergraduate Research Assistant.

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Anita Patrick University of Texas, Austin

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Anita Patrick is a STEM Education Doctoral Student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her BS in Bioengineering from Clemson University where she tutored undergraduate mathematics and science courses, and mentored undergraduate engineering majors. Prior to coming to UT, she independently tutored K12 and undergraduate mathematics and science. Her research interests include engineering education, identity and equity. Address: Engineering and Education Research Center (EER) 2501 Speedway, Austin, TX 78712 Email:

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Engineering identity is an attractive lens being used by engineering education researchers to help understand the factors contributing to student retention and persistence in engineering. However, few studies have linked pedagogical approaches for developing an identity to their impact on engineering identity development. This research paper investigates the difference in students’ engineering identity, engineering performance/competence, engineering interest, recognition in engineering, and affect towards six professional engineering practices in two difference engineering departments: a traditional program that implicitly supports engineering identity formation and a non-traditional program that explicitly supports engineering identity formation. Survey data was collected from a total of 184 students (153 from the traditional department and 31 from the non-traditional department). Using independent samples t-tests, results show that engineering identity was higher for students in the traditional department than for students in the non-traditional department. However, students in the non-traditional department showed statistically significantly higher levels of collaboration compared to the traditional department. This work contributes to the ongoing conversation about engineering identity development by beginning to explore the pedagogical approaches that impact students’ engineering attitudes. Implications of results are discussed.

Kendall, M. R., & Procter, L. M., & Patrick, A. (2019, June), Assessing Methods for Developing an Engineering Identity in the Classroom Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32114

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