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Board 81: Gatekeepers to Broadening Participation in Engineering: Variation in Postsecondary Engineering—Going Across Virginia’s High Schools

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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 Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

5

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32436

Download Count

8

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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 B. Knight is an Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head of Graduate Programs in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is also Director of International Engagement in Engineering Education, directs the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program, and is affiliate faculty with the Higher Education Program. 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, tends to be data-driven by leveraging large-scale institutional, state, or national data sets, and considers the intersection between policy and organizational contexts. He has B.S., M.S., and M.U.E.P. degrees from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Pennsylvania State University.

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Holly M. Matusovich Virginia Tech

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Dr. Holly M. Matusovich is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education. She is current the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs and the former Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. Dr. Matusovich is recognized for her research and practice related to graduate student mentoring. She won the Hokie Supervisor Spotlight Award in 2014, was nominated for a Graduate Advising Award in 2015, and won the 2018 Graduate Student Mentor Award for the College of Engineering. Dr. Matusovich has graduated 10 doctoral students since starting her research program in Spring 2009. Dr. Matusovich co-hosts the Dissertation Institute, a one-week workshop each summer funded by NSF, to help underrepresented students develop the skills and writing habits to complete doctorate degrees in engineering. Across all of her research avenues, Dr. Matusovich has been a PI/Co-PI on 12 funded research projects including the NSF CAREER Award with her share of funding be ingnearly $2.3 million. She has co-authored 2 book chapters, 21 journal publications and more than 70 conference papers. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty, an Outstanding Teacher Award and a Faculty Fellow Award. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. in Materials Science from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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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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Isabel S. Bradburn Virginia Tech

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Isabel Bradburn studies contexts of development and STEM education.

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Cheryl Carrico P.E. Virginia Tech

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Cheryl Carrico is a part-time faculty Research Scientist for Virginia Tech and owner of Cheryl Carrico Consulting, LLC. Her current research focus relates to STEM career pathways (K-12 through early career) and conceptual understanding of core engineering principles. She is currently a Member-at-Large for the Pre-college Division of ASEE. Dr. Carrico's consulting company specializes 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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Kai Jun Chew Virginia Tech

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Kai Jun (KJ) Chew is a PhD student in the Virginia Tech Engineering Education department. In the past, he has been involved in the engineering education field by working with Dr. Sheri Sheppard, engaging in multiple projects, such as ABET accreditation, curriculum redesign and others.

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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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Stacey L. Vaziri Virginia Tech Department of Engineering Education

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Stacey Vaziri is a doctoral student in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She received her M.S. in Materials Engineering from Purdue University and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University. Her research interests include access to higher education, broadening participation in engineering, and student success and retention.

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Lin Tan

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Abstract

This research stems from a project investigating 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. We take a macroscopic, systemic view of an entire state’s longitudinal database of high school-to-postsecondary student records to understand differences across high schools, focusing on a specific section of the pathway to an engineering career (i.e., the high school to college transition). Rather than focusing on single interventions or barriers, this research speaks to the systemic issues of access and underrepresentation in engineering and provides data related to the geographic disparities of engineering enrollment.

Leveraging the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS), a student-level administrative data set that connects Department of Education data to data collected by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, we are able to track each student who enrolled in a Virginia public high school into their university program of enrollment, thereby being able to characterize engineering-going pathways for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia (n=685,429 students for analyses presented). Our poster presents new results pertaining to the following underrepresented populations within engineering: women, African Americans, Hispanics, and economically disadvantaged students. We also incorporate contextual variables (e.g., average community education attainment and socioeconomic status, degree of rurality versus urbanicity) to explain some of the geographic disparities in engineering pathways, and postsecondary education pathways more broadly. Moreover, our poster presents findings from multiple cases across Virginia, where we went into high schools to interview administrators, guidance counselors, and faculty members to try to understand within-school division variation. Guided by social cognitive career theory, this qualitative data analysis unpacks the complex interactions between students’ goals, interests, and self-efficacies, which are informed by a variety of contextual influences and learning experiences, and helps pinpoint why certain schools produce lots of engineers while adjacent schools may not.

Knight, D. B., & Matusovich, H. M., & Grohs, J. R., & Bradburn, I. S., & Carrico, C., & Chew, K. J., & Kinoshita, T., & Vaziri, S. L., & Tan, L. (2019, June), Board 81: Gatekeepers to Broadening Participation in Engineering: Variation in Postsecondary Engineering—Going Across Virginia’s High Schools Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32436

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