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Board 151: Professional Development Activities that Improve the Persistence of Low-Income, Academically Talented Underrepresented Graduate Students in Engineering

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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

22

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29954

Download Count

38

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Paper Authors

biography

Jean S. VanderGheynst University of California, Davis

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Jean VanderGheynst is Executive Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Engineering at University of California, Davis. Her prior leadership positions at UC Davis include Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies (2009-2013) and Interim Dean (2015) in the College of Engineering. Dr. VanderGheynst’s research focuses on next generation biofuels and bioproducts and agricultural biotechnology. Current projects examine the management of microbial communities in applications including water treatment, food and energy production, and soil treatment for the control of pests and pathogens. More than $9 million of her extramural funding at UC Davis has been in support of undergraduate and graduate student preparation in engineering. This includes a NSF GK-12 award to improve leadership, communication and collaboration skills, and teaching capabilities in engineering graduate students pursuing research in the areas of renewable energy, climate change and environmental sustainability. She received her BS degree from Syracuse University in Chemical Engineering in 1991 and PhD degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University in 1997. She has served on the faculty at UC Davis since 1996.

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biography

Colleen Elizabeth Bronner University of California, Davis

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Colleen Bronner is faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of California, Davis. She has a Ph.D. in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering from the University at Buffalo, where she also earned a B.S.in Environmental Engineering and a M.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Her current research interests include inclusion of underrepresented groups in engineering, effectiveness of active learning strategies, and engineering in PK-12 education.

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Alin Wakefield University of California, Davis

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Alin Wakefield serves as the Research and Graduate Studies Development Coordinator in the College of Engineering at UC Davis.

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Abstract

Recent federal budgets for STEM education are based on the belief that "the United States must equip students to excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to meet the needs of the 21st century." While the United States moves toward minority-majority status, that change is not reflected in the number of graduate degrees being awarded to underrepresented minorities. The Preparing Engineering Graduates Students for the 21st Century (PEGS21) project at UC Davis seeks to look at the transition from undergraduate to graduate study and extend prior research that identifies barriers to graduate degree attainment in first generation students. PEGS21 scholars participate in weekly seminars and a series of professional development workshops in the UC Davis GradPathways program and are asked to reflect on the value of each workshop on their learning. Analysis of the results from these reflection assignments suggests that GradPathways workshops have the potential to address certain challenges facing first-generation, low-income graduate students. In addition, measures of participants' self-efficacy related to persistence in graduate school improved with participation in the program and changes in self-efficacy were greater than the general population of first-year graduate engineering students. Future efforts will include a refinement of practices and resources creating more successful strategies for increasing numbers of low-income, academically-talented underrepresented engineers with graduate degrees in the workforce.

VanderGheynst, J. S., & Bronner, C. E., & Wakefield, A. (2018, June), Board 151: Professional Development Activities that Improve the Persistence of Low-Income, Academically Talented Underrepresented Graduate Students in Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29954

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