Asee peer logo

Competition, Confidence And Challenges In The Engineering Classroom: American And International Students Speak Out

Download Paper |

Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Cognitive and Motivational Issues in Student Performance I

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

12.387.1 - 12.387.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2144

Download Count

17

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Dawn Williams Howard University

visit author page

DAWN G. WILLIAMS is an Assistant Professor and Master's Program Coordinator in the Department of Educational Administration and Policy at Howard University. Dr. Williams serves as a faculty researcher for the Center for Advancement of Engineering Education. She is also the Co-Principal Investigator of an NSF grant designed to study the post baccalaureate decisions of high achieving Black STEM students. Her primary research interests lie in K-12 educational policies targeted for urban school reform.

visit author page

biography

Lorraine Fleming Howard University

visit author page

LORRAINE FLEMING is professor and former Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at Howard University. Dr. Fleming serves as the Co-Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation HBCU Undergraduate Program grant designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who pursue degrees in engineering, mathematics, and science. She serves as the Principal Investigator of an NSF grant designed to study the post baccalaureate decisions of high achieving Black STEM students. She is also a 2005 Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

visit author page

biography

Marcus Jones Howard University

visit author page

MARCUS JONES is an Educational Psychology doctoral student at Howard University. Marcus is a graduate research assistant for the Center for Advancement of Engineering Education. His research interest include the academic achievement of African American males and the factors that influence attrition of engineering students.

visit author page

biography

Ashley Griffin Howard University

visit author page

ASHLEY GRIFFIN is a Developmental Psychology doctoral candidate at Howard University. Ashley is a former graduate research assistant for the Center for Advancement of Engineering Education. Her research interest include culturally relevant teaching practices and their impact on engagement, motivation, and performance surrounding African American students.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Competition, Confidence, and Challenges in the Engineering Classroom: American and International Students Speak Out

Abstract

The need to examine and compare the pre-college preparation provided by the International and American education systems led to the motivation for the study described in this paper. This study is part of a large, longitudinal study designed to understand how students become engineers by examining their experiences from their freshman year through their senior year. This part of the study focuses only on the freshman year experience of five of these students. Using multiple methods of data collection (i.e. ethnographic interviews, surveys, and academic transcripts), we observed differences in the manner in which American and International students speak of competition in the classroom, their confidence, and the challenges they face in pursuing an engineering degree. We conducted an in-depth study of five students from a larger pool of sixteen students in order to feature the students’ voice, an often minimized and underutilized resource.

Our study revealed that in their first year at Oliver University, American engineering students began to experience difficulty particularly in the areas of science and mathematics, whereas the international engineering students viewed the same course material as merely a review of information previously learned. The American students were left asking, “Why are they so smart and knowledgeable?” Both survey and ethnographic data indicate a difference between these two student groups in four broad areas: high school preparation, first year GPA, confidence level, and willingness to persist in an engineering major. Not only does national data show that Americans are scoring at lower levels in mathematics and science, but also American and international students are observing and reporting this phenomena as well.

Williams, D., & Fleming, L., & Jones, M., & Griffin, A. (2007, June), Competition, Confidence And Challenges In The Engineering Classroom: American And International Students Speak Out Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2144

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015