Asee peer logo

Board 10: Comparative Study of the Intersection of Engineering Identify and Black Identity of African-American Engineering Students at a PWI and an HBCU

Download Paper |

Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29853

Download Count

28

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Lesley M. Berhan University of Toledo

visit author page

Lesley Berhan is currently the Interim Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement for the College of Engineering and an Associate Professor in the department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering at The University of Toledo. Her research interests are in the areas of composites and fibrous materials and engineering education. She received her B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad, her M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She joined the faculty at the University of Toledo in 2004. As the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement, she leads the development and execution of initiatives and programs to facilitate the recruitment, retention, and success of women, students from underrepresented groups and first generation students. These duties are well aligned with her current research interests and external funding in engineering education

visit author page

biography

Revathy Kumar University of Toledo

visit author page

Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from the Combined Program in Education and Psychology, University of Michigan. At the graduate level, she teaches courses in Adolescent Development, Motivational Theory and Application, Cultural Perspectives in Learning and Development, and Self and Identity. Her research focuses on social and cultural processes involved in constructing a sense of self and identity among adolescents in culturally diverse societies. Of particular interest are the role of teachers, teacher-education programs, schools, communities, and families in facilitating minority and immigrant adolescents’ development, learning, and motivation. Her work is published in Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Contemporary Educational Psychology, and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. She received a Spencer Foundation Grant in 2007 to examine academic prospects, interpersonal relationships, and social well-being of students in school districts with a high concentration of students of Arab and Chaldean origins. Recently, she received internal grants from the University of Toledo to conduct mindfulness intervention projects with elementary school students and preservice teachers. She is also the recipient of the Fulbright Specialist Fellowship to pursue her interest in culture, mindfulness, and motivation in cross-cultural and international contexts.

visit author page

biography

Marjory A. Goodloe University of Toledo

visit author page

Marjory Goodloe is a doctoral student at the University of Toledo with expertise in educational policy and educational leadership. An acclaimed community activist and writer, Marjory is dedicated to improving the lives of youth in foster care; as such, she has spent nearly a decade developing programs geared toward improving the educational outcomes of youth in foster care. Her passion for education reform led her to pursue a doctorate in Educational Theory & Social Foundations with a minor in Educational Administration Supervision.

visit author page

biography

Jimmie Jones University of Toledo

visit author page

Jimmie Jones is a doctoral student in the Judith Herb College of Education's Educational Psychology program at the University of Toledo. His research focus is concerned with understanding the ways in which culture and climate impact student's cognition, attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes. His population of interest is racial/ethnic minorities, with African American student experiences as a focal point.

visit author page

biography

Aaron Lee Adams Alabama A&M University

visit author page

Aaron Adams is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Alabama A & M University. Before pursuing graduate studies, he worked at the National Academy of Engineering & Ford Motor Company as a product design engineer focusing on Minority STEM education and environmental policies. His research interests include nuclear radiation detection and thermal electric material development. He also works with the Center for Entrepreneurship Innovation and Economic Development to encourage African American students, and underrepresented groups in developing business innovation and ideas.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

This interdisciplinary, interinstitutional research initiation project is motivated by the need to develop practical strategies for broadening the participation of African American students in engineering. The project’s central objective is to conduct a comparative study of the factors affecting the success and pathways to engineering careers of African American students at the University of Toledo (a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) and Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (a Historically Black University) in order to gain insight into the factors affecting the social and academic well-being of students at PWIs and HBCUs from a psychological and anthropological perspective. For students from underrepresented groups in STEM at both HBCUs and PWIs, it is generally recognized that social capital in the form of familial, peer and mentor support is critical to persistence in their major field of study. However, the role that embedded networks within student groups in general and minority engineering affinity groups in particular play in engineering students’ identity formation and academic success is not well understood. It is also not clear how other factors including institutional support and the attitudes and beliefs of faculty and staff toward underrepresented minority students affect the ability of these students to integrate into the social and academic systems at their institutions and how these factors influence the formation and development of their identities as engineers. Here we report on the role of membership in organizations for underrepresented minority engineering students such as the NSBE) in contributing to the interlinking of personal and professional identities, and to the career pathways of African American students enrolled in PWI and HBCU, respectively. We draw on intergroup contact hypothesis and Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital to examine 1) the role of membership to professional engineering student organizations in enabling African American students to develop their engineering identity as an integral part of their black identity; and 2) the interactive effect of institutional characteristics and participation in minority engineering organizations on students' Black engineering identity. We draw upon 15 focus group interviews (7 in HBCU and 8 in PWI), with approximately 7 to 10 students per focus group to conduct a comparative qualitative analysis of NSBE and non-NSBE students’ responses to questions related to their sense of belonging to the institutions and profession, engineering identity, black identity, support mechanisms, access to opportunities based on their membership to NSBE. Initial analysis of focus group interviews (using NVivo 11) with participants from the HBCU institution indicate that attending an HBCU institution and membership in organizations such as NSBE contribute to a strong black engineering identity among African American students. Further analyses of interviews with participants from the PWI institution will be important in uncovering the relative role of organizations such as NSBE in PWI and HBCU institutions in supporting the development of strong professional engineering identity among African American students.

Berhan, L. M., & Kumar, R., & Goodloe, M. A., & Jones, J., & Adams, A. L. (2018, June), Board 10: Comparative Study of the Intersection of Engineering Identify and Black Identity of African-American Engineering Students at a PWI and an HBCU Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29853

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: © 2018 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