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Board # 92 : Military Veteran Students’ Pathways in Engineering Education (Year 3 )

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27956

Download Count

62

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Paper Authors

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Susan M Lord University of San Diego

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Susan M. Lord received a B.S. from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego. Her teaching and research interests include electronics, optoelectronics, materials science, first year engineering courses, feminist and liberative pedagogies, engineering student persistence, and student autonomy. Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Lord is a fellow of the ASEE and IEEE and is active in the engineering education community including serving as General Co-Chair of the 2006 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, on the FIE Steering Committee, and as President of the IEEE Education Society for 2009-2010. She is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education. She and her coauthors were awarded the 2011 Wickenden Award for the best paper in the Journal of Engineering Education and the 2011 and 2015 Best Paper Awards for the IEEE Transactions on Education. In Spring 2012, Dr. Lord spent a sabbatical at Southeast University in Nanjing, China teaching and doing research.

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Catherine E. Brawner Research Triangle Educational Consultants

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Catherine E. Brawner is President of Research Triangle Educational Consultants. She received her Ph.D.in Educational Resear ih and Policy Analysis from NC State University in 1996. She also has an MBA from Indiana University (Bloomington) and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. She specializes in evaluation and research in engineering education, computer science education, teacher education, and technology education. Dr. Brawner is a founding member and former treasurer of Research Triangle Park Evaluators, an American Evaluation Association affiliate organization and is a member of the American Educational Research Association and American Evaluation Association, in addition to ASEE. Dr. Brawner is also an Extension Services Consultant for the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) and, in that role, advises computer science departments on diversifying their under-graduate student population. Dr. Brawner previously served as principal evaluator of a number of NSF-sponsored projects in engineering and computer science education. She remains an active researcher with MIDFIELD, studying gender issues, transfers, and matriculation models in engineering.

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Catherine Mobley Clemson University

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Catherine Mobley, Ph.D., is a Professor of Sociology at Clemson University. She has over 20 years experience in project and program evaluation and has worked for a variety of consulting firms, non-profit agencies, and government organizations, including the Rand Corporation, the American Association of Retired Persons, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Since 2004, she been a member of the NSF-funded MIDFIELD research project on engineering education; she has served as a Co-PI on three research projects, including one on transfer students and another on student veterans in engineering.

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Joyce B. Main Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Joyce B. Main is Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy from Cornell University, and an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Michelle M. Camacho University of San Diego

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Michelle Madsen Camacho is Professor of Sociology at the University of San Diego and Special Assistant to the Provost. She formerly held two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, San Diego, at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Fluent in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, her research uses theories from interdisciplinary sources including cultural studies, critical race, gender and feminist theories. Central to her work are questions of culture, power and inequality. She is affiliated faculty with the Department of Ethnic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Latin American Studies.

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Abstract

This project explores the experiences of student veterans in engineering through a comparative case study across four institutions: University of San Diego (USD), North Carolina State University (NCSU), Purdue University, and Clemson University. Our research plan incorporates content analysis of academic policies that student veterans encounter, interviews with key informants on each campus, focus group interviews with student veterans, and in-depth student interviews to elicit rich narratives. This study has potential for broad systemic impact by diversifying pathways to and through engineering programs.

During Year 1 (2014-2015) of the grant, we interviewed 23 key informants at our institutions. Key informants include professionals supporting veterans in student veteran success centers, financial aid, advising offices, and other student support services. We identified themes that shape student veteran experiences on these campuses: the presence/absence of key student policies and services; and gaps in the provision of such services. At each institution, there has been a heightened emphasis on improving services for veterans.

In Year 2 (2015-2016), we conducted five focus groups with a total of 21 student veterans engineering students. Participants who had significant technical responsibilities as part of their service often considered engineering to be a logical next step in their career. However, veterans with less technical responsibility in their military jobs were more attracted to engineering by financial opportunities and/or job security. Veteran students’ relationships with faculty and other students are influenced by their age and their veteran status. While many veterans viewed age as an advantage in engineering study, some cited balancing school with the family and work responsibilities that often come with age as a disadvantage. Veterans are more likely to tell their professors than other students about their veteran status.

In Year 3 (2016-2017), we conducted 62 individual interviews with veteran engineering students at our four campuses. Data from these interviews will be analyzed and compared with data from the focus groups to provide a richer description of the experiences of military veterans who choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Lord, S. M., & Brawner, C. E., & Mobley, C., & Main, J. B., & Camacho, M. M. (2017, June), Board # 92 : Military Veteran Students’ Pathways in Engineering Education (Year 3 ) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27956

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