June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
Adult learners belong to a large group of individuals for whom lifelong learning is both a desire and necessity and for whom career changes are or will be the norm. This topic is not exclusive to engineering, but impacts many STEM professionals. Adult learners also include those who may have significant family responsibilities, medical issues, work obligations, returning veterans/active service military people, or who lack financial resources to commit to fulltime studies. While online education opportunities may fill some of the gaps, acquiring an identity as a professional in a field or discipline grows with personal connections. The work to date builds on prior research to understand multiple identities and professional identity development and design approach among undergraduate engineering students aged 25 and over.
During this three year NSF funded study, qualitative and quantitative data were collected from three diverse sites including a large public university (____), a small private university (_____), and a community college (_____). Semi-structured interviews, think-aloud protocols, and a large-scale survey have contributed to a rich set of data. Results point to the construction of an identity as “other” among adult engineering students in institutions of various types. The data supports the need for engineering education systems to provide systems that support a broad range of students, as well as opportunities for students to work together across generational differences.
This paper provides an overview of this research study as a whole, summarizing the demographics of the research participants and the data collected. The paper concludes with recommendations on the broader impact of this work, and suggestions for future work.
Carnasciali, M., & Ciston, S., & Mikel, T. K., & Morales, A. M., & Sehgal, S., & Whitson, M. L. (2017, June), Board # 17 : A Three-Year Study of Adult Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27795
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