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Board 141: Engineering Identity as a Predictor of Undergraduate Students’ Persistence in Engineering

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

5

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32256

Download Count

2

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Paper Authors

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Debra A. Major Old Dominion University

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Debra A. Major, Professor & Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University (ODU), earned her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Michigan State University. Her research focuses on broadening participation in STEM. She is particularly interested in barriers encountered by women and ethnic minorities in college and in the workforce. Her work has received continuous funding from the National Science Foundation for over 15 years, and she has led numerous multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research teams. Dr. Major is fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the Society for the Psychology of Women. She is presently serving as Associate Dean in the College of Sciences at ODU.

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biography

Seterra D. Burleson Old Dominion University

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Seterra is a doctoral student at Old Dominion University. She works as a graduate research assistant and conducts research with Dr. Debra A. Major to identify barriers, such as work-family conflict, for women and minority populations in STEM and ways to keep people motivated to continue pursuing a STEM profession. In 2013, she graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology.

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Xiaoxiao Hu Old Dominion University

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Xiaoxiao Hu is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Old Dominion University. She received her PhD in Industrial/Organizational psychology from George Mason University. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Academy of Management, and the International Association for Chinese Management Research. She served as the chair of the Psychology Section for Virginia Academy of Science in 2013. Her primary research areas are on affective experience and relational dynamics in the workplace. She also does research on psychometric and measurement issues as well as cross-cultural comparisons between the East and the West. Her work has appeared in journals including Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and Journal of Managerial Psychology. She currently serves on the editorial board of Journal of Business and Psychology.

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Kristi J. Shryock Texas A&M University

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Dr. Kristi J. Shryock is the Frank and Jean Raymond Foundation Inc. Endowed Instructional Associate Professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She also serves as Director of the Craig and Galen Brown Engineering Honors Program. She received her BS, MS, and PhD from the College of Engineering at Texas A&M. Kristi works to improve the undergraduate engineering experience through evaluating preparation in areas, such as mathematics and physics, evaluating engineering identity and its impact on retention, incorporating non-traditional teaching methods into the classroom, and engaging her students with interactive methods.

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Abstract

Improving graduation rates of students who have selected and been admitted to engineering majors is a pivotal strategy in supporting national initiatives to increase the number of engineering graduates. Research suggests that the degree to which a student is attached to or belongs to engineering as a discipline better explains persistence-related outcomes than lack of interest and ability. As a result, identity frameworks have proven useful for furthering the understanding of engineering persistence. In this paper, we examine the relationship between undergraduate students’ engineering identity and persistence as an engineering major.

As part of an ongoing NSF IUSE project, a concise five-item measure of engineering identity was developed and validated. That measure was administered to a large sample of engineering freshmen at a southwestern engineering school. Engineering identity was assessed twice, once prior to the beginning of fall semester when students had not yet taken an engineering course (Time 1) and once at the end of fall semester after completing introductory engineering courses (Time 2). Persistence as an engineering major was assessed prior to the beginning of the sophomore year (Time 3). Results showed that engineering identity measured at both Time 1 (r = .09) and Time 2 (r = .22) was significantly related to persistence as an engineering major at Time 3.

The paper describes the implications of these longitudinal findings, future data analyses, and the importance of engineering identity. Having a concise, validated measure of identity will be valuable for quick assessment of student engineering identity and gaining further understanding of the relationship between identity and persistence in engineering.

Major, D. A., & Burleson, S. D., & Hu, X., & Shryock, K. J. (2019, June), Board 141: Engineering Identity as a Predictor of Undergraduate Students’ Persistence in Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32256

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