June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Minorities in Engineering
This paper presents the development of the Persistence of Engineers in the Academy Survey (PEAS). The work described here is part of a multi-year, mixed-methods research project that investigates the persistence of women of color faculty in engineering. Women are significantly underrepresented as faculty, especially in upper ranks and administration, in most science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Research is needed to identify organizational barriers that impede the participation and advancement of women faculty (NSF, 2016). As one critical component of the PEAS, this paper details a procedure for the development of a scale to explore the perspectives of engineering faculty in the U.S. about ways that gender, race/ethnicity, and class affect their persistence in the academy. Intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991) is used as a framework to guide the study design and data analysis.
Through the literature review, we identified eight factors related to motivation and work climate that may affect faculty persistence. Based on the intersectionality framework, two additional factors were considered to probe the effects of class on the persistence of faculty. We conducted several iterations of item development, along with the face and content validity analyses, and developed a total of 63 items for the 10 constructs. The first version of the PEAS was tested with data from 215 STEM faculty members at a Midwestern public university. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) identified 10 latent factors as we intended, but item level analyses using factor loadings suggested areas for item improvement. Therefore, another round of data collection using the PEAS with revised items is currently ongoing at two universities, one public and one private. Another EFA and confirmatory factor analysis will be applied to the new dataset to finalize the items and factor structure of the scale. This study is expected to contribute to the literature on equity and the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, and class in academic careers.
Aldridge, J., & Yoon, S. Y., & Cox, M. F., & Main, J. B., & McGee, E. O. (2019, June), Board 102: Development of the Persistence of Engineers in the Academy Survey (PEAS) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32169
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