June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
Leaders in industry and government are calling for increasing innovation in STEM fields to maintain the nation's economic competitiveness . Solving today's complex challenges will require cooperation among experts from many fields. Successful leaders must harness the diverse capabilities of teams composed of these experts and be technically skilled. Undergraduate engineering students can fill this need by learning how to be effective leaders during their formation as engineers. Unfortunately, many engineering students graduate with little development of leadership skills; engineering educators do not currently have a sufficient understanding of how engineering students develop into leaders. This NSF ECE supported project seeks to improve educators’ understanding of the interaction between leadership and engineering identities in the formation of undergraduate engineers. This work postulates that a cohesive engineering leadership identity should exist at the intersection of engineering and leadership identities. Now entering its second year the project is wrapping up its quantitative phase and is beginning the qualitative phase of investigation. This paper discusses the process of developing the qualitative research protocols used to explore identity formation in groups of undergraduate engineers at three different campuses. The discussion shows the formation of the protocol using prior work in leadership and engineering identity constructs from both this project and the literature. The protocol development, methods, and findings from early interviews are presented. Initial findings suggest several factors are important to engineering educators interested in developing engineers who are ready to lead. The findings include evidence of some level of conflict between engineering identity and leadership identity as well as further evidence of engineering students’ compartmentalization of leadership as outside of engineering. In addition, this paper includes the learning outcomes of three REU students who joined the project to assist with the development of the qualitative protocol. The REU students made significant contributions to initial data collection as participants and observers. The REU students were the lead authors of this paper.
Beigel, R., & Annand, E., & Kwapisz, M., & Schell, W. J., & Hughes, B. E., & Tallman, B. (2019, June), Board 139: Engineering Leadership Identity: A Qualitative Approach to Understand the Intersection of Engineering and Leadership Identities Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32251
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