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Black Males in Pursuit of Advanced Engineering Degrees

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36752

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36752

Download Count

43

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Paper Authors

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Jerrod A. Henderson University of Houston Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0501-5805

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Dr. Jerrod A. Henderson (“Dr. J”) is an Instructional Associate Professor in the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston. He has dedicated his career to increasing the number of students who are in the pipeline to pursue STEM careers. He believes that exposing students to STEM early will have a lasting impact upon their lives and academic pursuits. He is a co-founder of the St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy (SEBA). SEBA is an educational intervention aimed at exposing underrepresented fourth and fifth grade students to hands-on, inquiry based STEM experiments and activities.

Henderson is a part of the William A. Brookshire Dept. of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and he was recently appointed by the Dean of the College as the Director of the Program for Mastery in Engineering Studies (PROMES), a program aimed at increasing engineering student achievement, engagement, and retention. His research interests are in engineering identity formation and persistence among underrepresented students, especially Black males. He was most recently recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine as an Inspiring STEM Leader Award recipient. He was also recently awarded a Young Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Illinois’ College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (2019); and the Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award, by career communications group as a part of the 34th Black Engineer of the Year STEM Conference (2020).

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Erik M. Hines Florida State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6025-0779

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Dr. Erik M. Hines is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems at the Florida State University as well as the coordinator of the Counselor Education Program and School Counseling Track. Dr. Hines prepares graduate students to be professional school counselors. Dr. Hines’s research agenda centers around: (a) college and career readiness for Black males; (b) parental involvement and its impact on academic achievement for students of color; and (c) improving and increasing postsecondary opportunities for first generation, low-income, and students of color (particularly Black males). Additionally, his research interests include career exploration in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for students of color. Dr. Hines has secured research funding to study the college readiness and persistence of Black males to improve their academic and career outcomes. Further, Dr. Hines has worked on several grants aimed at increasing awareness of STEM careers for students of color and rural students. He has over 30 publications and secured over $1,000,000.00 in extramural and internal funding. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Counseling and Development, Professional School Counseling, The High School Journal, and Urban Education. Equally important, Dr. Hines is an ACA Fellow and received the Al Dye award for co-editing the special issue, Group Work with African Americans Children and Adolescents published in the Journal for Specialist in Group Work. Dr. Hines received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park in Counselor Education with a concentration in Urban School Counseling. Finally, he has worked as a counselor in various K-12 settings and for the Ronald E McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.

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Ayesha Boyce University of North Carolina - Greensboro

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Jared Larenz Davis University of Houston

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My name is Jared Davis and I am currently a junior mechanical engineering major at the University of Houston. For the past year, I have been conducting research in relation to increasing participation of Black males in graduate engineering programs. I enjoy this work very much and hope that it is helpful for many students like myself!

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Waldemiro Muanha Junqueira University of Houston Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7745-2350

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Tyron Slack Florida State University

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My name is Tyron Slack and I am a doctoral student in the Combined Counseling Psychology and School Psychology program at Florida State University. I am from New Orleans, Louisiana. I received my B.A. in Psychology at Southeastern Louisiana University and my Master's of Social Work degree at Florida State University. My clinical and research interests include African American student academic success, resilience, and mental health.

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Abstract

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

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: © 2021 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