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Belonging in Engineering

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Sense of Belonging and Diversity in Engineering Programs, Courses, and Teams

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34202

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/34202

Download Count

45

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Paper Authors

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Robert M. O'Hara Clemson University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7004-0487

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Robert is a doctoral student in the learning sciences program a Clemson University. His research focus is on examining the relationship between sense of belonging and the learning/achievement process for undergraduate students and how factors influence this relationship. Prior to starting the Learning Sciences program, Robert, worked as a student affairs professional in higher education focusing on residential curriculum, social justice advocacy and awareness, and Intergroup Dialogue.

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Candice Bolding Clemson University

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Candice Bolding is currently the Undergraduate Student Services Manager in the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering and graduate student at Clemson University. She acts as a support to the undergraduate students in areas such as advising, programming, and registration. She also serves as the advisor to the Civil Engineering Student Advisory Council, which provides a voice for undergraduate students in the program. She also supervises department outreach student ambassadors. She currently sits on the department's Diversity and Outreach Committee and is a liaison for the department to the Office of the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies for the college.

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Jennifer Harper Ogle Clemson University

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Dr. Jennifer Ogle is a Professor in the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University and a 2005 graduate of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. Her research focuses on transportation infrastructure design, safety, accessibility, and management. She also works on research with faculty in engineering education as the facilitator for the NSF Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments (RED) grant at Clemson. As a first-generation student and the first tenured female in her department, Dr. Ogle is an advocate for justice, equity, and inclusion in Civil Engineering. In 2012, she was recognized by President Obama as a Champion of Change for Women in STEM.

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Lisa Benson Clemson University

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Lisa Benson is a Professor of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University, and the Editor of the Journal of Engineering Education. Her research focuses on the interactions between student motivation and their learning experiences. Her projects focus on student perceptions, beliefs and attitudes towards becoming engineers and scientists, development of problem solving skills, self-regulated learning, and epistemic beliefs. She earned a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Vermont, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Clemson University, and is an ASEE Fellow.

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Rachel Lanning Clemson University

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Rachel Lanning is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University. Her disciplinary background is in mathematics with a mathematics Master's degree from Georgia Southern University. Her research interests include well-being and departmental culture as it pertains to STEM graduate students.

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Abstract

When examining factors affecting student academic success, it is important to consider how these factors interact with one another. Students’ affective attributes are complex in nature; thus, research methods and analyses should holistically examine how these attributes interact, not simply as a set of distinct constructs. Prior research into engineering students’ affective attributes, in which we used a validated survey to assess student motivation, identity, goal orientation, sense of belonging, career outcome expectations, grit and personality traits, demonstrated a positive correlation between perceptions of belongingness in engineering and time spent in the program. Other prior research has examined interactions between affective attributes, for example engineering identity as a predictor of grit (consistency of interest). However, more work is needed to examine the relationships between sense of belonging, engineering identity, future career outcome expectations and motivation, particularly for students in an engineering program undergoing curricular change. This paper describes a confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation model to examine how engineering identity, career outcome expectations, and time-oriented motivation (specifically, students’ future time perspectives, or FTP) impact their sense of belonging in engineering, with grit (consistency of interest) as a moderator of these relationships. To conduct these analyses, we used data collected over two years from sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in an undergraduate civil engineering program (2017-18, n=358; 2018-19, n=556). Based on descriptive statistics and initial statistical comparisons, we confirmed our prior findings that students’ sense of belonging at the course level increased with time in the program (from sophomore to senior year), and that engineering identity increased with time in the program as well. In addition, we observed that seniors had higher perceived instrumentality, a sub-construct of FTP indicating their perceived usefulness of their courses in reaching their future goals, than sophomores and juniors. We found that course belongingness and FTP have the strongest influence on belongingness compared to other affective attributes we assessed. When identity and motivation were factored in, career outcome expectations were not influential to engineering belongingness. Finally, we found that time-oriented motivation (FTP) was also a mediator of this relationship through its influence on grit (consistency of interest).

O'Hara, R. M., & Bolding, C., & Ogle, J. H., & Benson, L., & Lanning, R. (2020, June), Belonging in Engineering Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34202

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