July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
Black males are underrepresented in undergraduate and graduate engineering programs. While post-secondary interventions have shown to be effective, representation of Black males in all segments of the engineering pipeline remains a challenge. There is also a dearth of literature that has sought to uncover and understand the factors that influence Black males to pursue engineering graduate degrees, and further use these perspectives for more informed intervention design. The purpose of this article is to discuss the factors that influenced Black male engineers to pursue engineering graduate degrees. The authors used a qualitative approach to understand why 15 Black males chose to pursue an advanced degree in engineering using a semi-structured interview process. The authors analyzed the data using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis and were guided by Cultural Capital Theory to uncover the assets the participants possessed to attain an advanced degree. Three major themes emerged from this study, Benefits of Advanced Degrees (motivation for why they pursued advanced degrees), Social Supports (motivation for attainment), and Hurdles and Obstacles Experienced (possible barriers to attainment). Two minor themes (Advisor and Mentor Challenges and Negative Racial Experiences) emerged from the major theme of Hurdles and Obstacles Experienced. Finally, the authors provide recommendations for improving the educational pipeline to increase the number of Black males attaining advanced degrees in engineering. The findings of this research study can lead to improvement, innovation, and intervention design in recruiting and retaining Black males in pursuing and earning Master’s and/or Ph.D.’s in engineering.
Henderson, J. A., & Hines, E. M., & Boyce, A., & Davis, J. L., & Junqueira, W. M., & Slack, T. (2021, July), Black Males in Pursuit of Advanced Engineering Degrees Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36752
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