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Board 75: Gatekeepers to Broadening Participation in Engineering: Investigating Variation Across High Schools Comparing Who Could Go versus Who Does Go into 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

5

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30101

Download Count

25

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Paper Authors

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David B. Knight Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-2490

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David Knight is Assistant Professor and Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is also Director of International Engagement in Engineering Education and affiliate faculty with the Higher Education Program at Virginia Tech. His research tends to be at the macro-scale, focused on a systems-level perspective of how engineering education can become more effective, efficient, and inclusive.

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Holly M. Matusovich Virginia Tech

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Dr. Matusovich is an Associate Professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. She has her doctorate in Engineering Education and her strengths include qualitative and mixed methods research study design and implementation. She is/was PI/Co-PI on 10 funded research projects including a CAREER grant. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty. Her research expertise includes using motivation and related frameworks to study student engagement in learning, recruitment and retention in engineering programs and careers, faculty teaching practices and intersections of motivation and learning strategies.

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Jacob R. Grohs Virginia Tech

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Jacob Grohs is an Assistant Professor in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech with Affiliate Faculty status in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics and the Learning Sciences and Technologies at Virginia Tech. He holds degrees in Engineering Mechanics (BS, MS) and in Educational Psychology (MAEd, PhD).

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Cheryl Carrico P.E. Virginia Tech

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Cheryl Carrico is a Research faculty member for Virginia Tech. Her current research focus relates to STEM career pathways (K-12 through early career) and conceptual understanding of core engineering principles. Dr. Carrico owns a research and consulting company specializing in research evaluations and industry consulting. Dr. Carrico received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech, Masters of Engineering from North Carolina State University, MBA from King University, and PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Dr. Carrico is a certified project management professional (PMP) and licensed professional engineer (P.E.).

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Andrew L. Gillen Virginia Tech

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Andrew Gillen is a doctoral student and graduate research assistant in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Andrew received his B.S. in Civil Engineering with an environmental engineering concentration from Northeastern University.

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Timothy Kinoshita Virginia Tech

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Timothy Kinoshita is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. His research interests include graduate education, curriculum development, faculty development, global engineering education, and education policy.

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Lin Tan Virginia Tech

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Isabel S. Bradburn Virginia Tech

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Isabel Bradburn studies contexts of development and STEM education.

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Abstract

Project funded by Division of Engineering Education and Center (BPE)

This project is an investigation of the gatekeepers—including the people, places, programs, and policies—that contribute to demographic variations across high schools in the proportion of students who enroll in an engineering major at a four-year university. Our research takes a macroscopic, systemic view of an entire state’s longitudinal database of high school-to-postsecondary student records to understand how high schools perform in terms of having its students who fit an engineering academic profile actually choose to enroll in an engineering postsecondary program. Enabled by a state-level data set, we investigate variation across high schools for the following underrepresented populations within engineering: women, African Americans, Hispanics, students from low socioeconomic statuses (SES), as well as students from different school contexts (i.e., rural vs urban).

In addition to understanding where there is variation, we also are seeking to understand why certain high schools across the state have higher engineering yields than others. Even within the same school districts, our quantitative data demonstrate high variation, and the second phase of our research focuses on purposefully selected districts and high schools to interrogate that variation. Guided by social cognitive career theory, our qualitative data collection unpacks the complex interactions between students’ goals, interests, and self-efficacies, which are informed by a variety of contextual influences and learning experiences. Importantly, our project focuses on a specific section of the pathway to an engineering career and explores variation across subpopulations and local contexts. Moreover, rather than focusing on single interventions or barriers, we frame our research holistically to understand how the variety of potential gatekeepers might be re-positioned or trained to support a more diverse population of students who choose to enroll in postsecondary engineering programs.

Our poster will present several important findings to date. First, we will display variation in engineering yield by high school as a function of high school size as well as geographical location in the state. These results demonstrate high spatial variation in engineering yield that is not consistent across demographic groups. Second, we will show geographic variation in the relationship between high school course taking (e.g., highest math class taken) and engineering enrollment from two different perspectives—across high schools as well as across colleges within the state. Finally, we will present some of our preliminary qualitative findings that unpacks why variation in engineering postsecondary enrollment exists across high schools within the same school district.

Knight, D. B., & Matusovich, H. M., & Grohs, J. R., & Carrico, C., & Gillen, A. L., & Kinoshita, T., & Tan, L., & Bradburn, I. S. (2018, June), Board 75: Gatekeepers to Broadening Participation in Engineering: Investigating Variation Across High Schools Comparing Who Could Go versus Who Does Go into Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30101

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