June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
Exploring Enculturation in the First-Year Engineering Program Culture is defined as the set of beliefs, customs, and or arts of a particular group. Engineering enculturation can be defined as the process by which an engineering student learns the traditional content of an engineering culture and assimilates its engineering practices and values. Examples of content, practices and values in the engineering culture are, among others, algorithmic thinking, teamwork, problem solving, or engineering design. Enculturation and acculturation have been investigated in the humanities with little connections to the engineering profession. Enculturation can be understood as the acquisition of a culture, or in this case, the assimilation to the engineering culture. This funded research can help in the understanding of the engineering academic programs, seen from a perspective of “enculturation process into the engineering profession”. It can also shed light to the first year engineering programs, as a first step into this cultural assimilation process. The assimilation process to the engineering culture can be associated to engineering outcomes as defined by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and through common outcomes among engineering programs, including first year engineering programs. A group of professors at a university located in the southwestern region of the United States are conducting engineering enculturation research based on self- reported student’s perceptions as well as performance indicators (i.e. grades) of at least 400 first year engineering students. In this work in progress, a Likert-based survey is administered to students followed by targeted focus groups. Results of these perceptions are compared to performance indicators. Given the importance of representation in engineering, underrepresented groups are specially considered and researched. Since publications and reports show that attrition is high during the first year engineering program, this inquiry seeks to explore the enculturation of individuals new to the profession. This paper contains the initial results from this work in progress to investigate enculturation of first year engineering students.
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