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Board 84: Associations Between Veteran and Non-veteran Student Perceptions of Social Responsibility

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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

6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32442

Download Count

5

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Paper Authors

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Stacey E. Kulesza Kansas State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3283-6235

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Dr. Stacey Kulesza is an assistant professor in the civil engineering department at Kansas State University. Dr. Kulesza teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in geotechnical engineering and is a licensed engineer in the state of Kansas.

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Jia G. Liang Kansas State University

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Jia Grace Liang is a faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership at Kansas State University (USA). Her research interests focus on school leadership, professional development and learning in STEM, equity for women and racial minorities, and leadership for community engagement. She holds a PhD from the University of Georgia in Educational Administration and Policy.

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Eric J. Fitzsimmons Kansas State University

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Dr. Eric Fitzsimmons, P.E. is an assistant professor in the civil engineering department at Kansas State University. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering with a specialization in transportation from Iowa State University. Dr. Fitzsimmons is a graduate of the American Society of Civil Engineers Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEED) and also has served as an assistant mentor. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in transportation and railroad engineering.

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Jeff Zacharakis Kansas State University

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Jeff Zacharakis is a professor of adult learning and leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership. His areas of research include leader and organizational development.

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Jeffrey Chase Hood M.A. Kansas State University

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J. Chase Hood is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Kansas State University. He studies cognitive psychology, experimental design, statistical analyses, and seeks to apply his research to improving education.

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Abstract

This research addresses the global initiative to increase diversity in the engineering work force. The military Veteran student population was identified as one of the most diverse student groups in engineering; however, discontinue and dismissal rates of Veteran students in engineering are significantly higher than traditional engineering students in the United States. These Veteran students hold identifiable traits that are different than traditional engineering students who are under the age of 24 and financially dependent on their parents. While great leaps have been made in engineering student retention, most has focused on these traditional students. This research seeks to fill this gap by specifically addressing the retention of Veteran students using the concept of social responsibility. Social responsibility is generally considered to be acting to benefit society. It is a common ideal promoted in the military (e.g., service before self in the U.S. Air Force fundamental and enduring values). It is also embodied in the engineer’s creed (i.e., engineers using their professional skills to improve human welfare) and revealed by the literature as a major factor that attracts many students from historically underrepresented groups into engineering. Therefore, the objective of this research is to explore the associations between Veteran student retention, social responsibility, and demographics. A survey instrument was developed based on a model for assessing first-year engineering student understanding of social responsibility. The survey was updated to include demographics specific to the Veteran student cohort (e.g., military branch, prior job attributes, and university transfer credits) and questions specifically linking military service and engineering. The survey was piloted, followed by a focus group to clarify survey questions; it was then revised and launched in October 2018 to all students who self-identify as Veterans and all first-year students in the college of engineering at a 4-year land grant institution. Approximately 48% of the Veteran student cohort and 52% of the first-year cohort responded to the survey. This paper will discuss the Veteran and first-year student perceptions of social responsibility in engineering based on results from the instrument. The results of this research will be used to design an intervention, likely in the first-year when most Veteran students discontinue or are dismissed, to increase Veteran retention in engineering programs.

Kulesza, S. E., & Liang, J. G., & Fitzsimmons, E. J., & Zacharakis, J., & Hood, J. C. (2019, June), Board 84: Associations Between Veteran and Non-veteran Student Perceptions of Social Responsibility Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32442

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