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Continuously Improving a Diversity-Bolstering System through Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Engineering GoldShirt Program Facets

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Broadening Participation in Engineering

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

26.405.1 - 26.405.12

DOI

10.18260/p.23744

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23744

Download Count

88

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Paper Authors

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Jacquelyn F. Sullivan Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder

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As Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, Sullivan spearheaded design and launch of the Engineering GoldShirt Program to provide a unique access pathway to engineering for high potential, next tier students not admitted through the standard admissions process . Sullivan was conferred as an ASEE Fellow in 2011 and was awarded NAE’s 2008 Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. She is currently launching CU Teach Engineering, a unique initiative to produce secondary science and math teachers through a new design-based engineering degree, with the ultimate goal of broadening participation among those who choose to come to engineering college.

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Beth A Myers University of Colorado Boulder

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Beth A. Myers is the engineering assessment specialist for the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. She holds a BA in biochemistry, ME in engineering management and is currently a PhD candidate studying engineering education at the College of Engineering and Applied Science. She has worked for the University of Colorado in various capacities for 16 years, including as a program manager for a small medical research center and most recently as Director of Access and Recruiting for the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Her interests are in quantitative and qualitative research and data analysis.

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Kevin O'Connor University of Colorado Boulder Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7172-1724

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Kevin O’Connor is assistant professor of Educational Psychology and Learning Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. His scholarship focuses on human action, communication, and learning as socioculturally organized phenomena. A major strand of his research explores the varied trajectories taken by students as they attempt to enter professional disciplines such as engineering, and focuses on the dilemmas encountered by students as they move through these institutionalized trajectories. He is co-editor of a 2010 National Society for the Study of Education Yearbook, Learning Research as a Human Science. Other work has appeared in Linguistics and Education; Mind, Culture, and Activity; Anthropology & Education Quarterly, the Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science; the Journal of Engineering Education; and the Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research. His teaching interests include developmental psychology; sociocultural theories of communication, learning, and identity; qualitative methods; and discourse analysis.

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Frederick A. Peck

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Frederick Peck is a PhD Candidate in the School of Education at the University of Colorado.

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Tanya D Ennis University of Colorado, Boulder

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TANYA D. ENNIS is the current Engineering GoldShirt Program Director at the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. She received her M.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her career in the telecommunications industry included positions in software and systems engineering and technical project management. Tanya most recently taught mathematics at the Denver School of Science and Technology, the highest performing high school in Denver Public Schools.

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Nick A. Stites Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado at Boulder

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Nick Stites is an engineer with the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. He also serves as an adjunct instructor for the General Engineering Plus program and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Nick holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering and is currently pursuing a PhD in engineering education. His research interests include how technology can enhance teaching and learning.

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Beverly Louie University of Colorado, Boulder

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Beverly Louie is the Director for teaching and learning initiatives in the Broadening Opportunities through the Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity (BOLD) Center in The University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from CU, and a D.Phil. in mechanical engineering from the University of Oxford, England. Louie’s research interests are in the areas of engineering student retention and performance, women’s success in engineering, diversity, teaching effectiveness, and collaborative learning.

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Julie Cafarella University of Colorado, Boulder

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Julie Cafarella is a PhD student in Educational Psychology & Learning Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Before moving to Colorado, she worked as a public school teacher in New England. Her current research focuses on issues of access and equity in STEM education.

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Daria A Kotys-Schwartz University of Colorado, Boulder

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Daria Kotys-Schwartz is the Director of the Idea Forge—a flexible, cross-disciplinary design space at University of Colorado Boulder. She is also the Design Center Colorado Director of Undergraduate Programs and a Senior Instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She received B.S. and M.S degrees in mechanical engineering 
from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder. Kotys-Schwartz has focused her research in engineering student learning, retention, and student identity development within the context of engineering design. She is currently investigating the impact of cultural norms in an engineering classroom context, performing comparative studies between engineering education and professional design practices, examining holistic approaches to student retention, and exploring informal learning in engineering education.

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Abstract

Evidence-Based Practice: Continuously Improving a Diversity- Bolstering System through Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative XYZ Program FacetsFor 30 years, U.S. colleges of engineering have created specialized programs committed toattracting and retaining diverse populations of engineering students. Focused primarily on singleinterventions, these programs have produced significant assessment and research results, yetnational achievement in broadening participation in engineering has remained relatively flat.Pathways to and through engineering programs appear blocked to students fromunderrepresented groups; potential remedies remain unclear. This paper challenges the notionthat single “silver bullet” approaches can sufficiently expand access pathways. We posit thatholistic investigations, characterizing the multi-faceted components of a broadeningparticipation system, are key to successfully increasing diversity in engineering.For five years we have investigated and honed an inclusive excellence1 system aimed atbroadening the participation of underrepresented students. A main facet of this system is theEngineering XYZ Program. This paper focuses on the mixed-method research process used toassess and continuously redesign academic components of the model at the core of the system,specifically three science, math and engineering design foundation courses.We compare both quantitative and qualitative student results in three access pathways: direct-admit to the engineering major of student choice (including an “open option” route); the XYZEngineering performance-enhancing year program; and a new pre-engineering program. Direct-admit students are “traditional” students who are admitted to the engineering college the firstyear. XYZ students are also admitted to the engineering college if they agree to participate in theperformance enhancing year Engineering XYZ Program. Pre-engineering students are arts andsciences majors who are provided guidance and support to earn their way to engineeringadmission over two to four semesters.Three courses common to many direct-admit XYZ and pre-engineering students are the First-Year Engineering Projects course, the new Precalculus for Engineers, and Engineering Physics.The qualitative and quantitative student outcomes in each of the three different access pathwayshave been assessed in each course and are shared in this paper.Various qualitative methods were employed, including ethnographic fieldwork, indirectobservations in courses and learning communities, focus-groups and ethnographic interviews.Constant comparative analysis, involving concurrent engagement in data collection and analysis,served as the primary analytic approach for the ethnographic data. The analysis of earlyfieldwork led to a preliminary grounded theory, which in turn led to further fieldwork to refinethe theory through multiple iterative cycles.Simultaneous quantitative methods employed included tracking student performance variables,pre- to post-test analysis using t-tests and repeated measure ANOVA, predictive analyses such asexhaustive CHAID, multiple regression and correlational analyses.                                                            1 Inclusive excellence refers to creating pathways to and through engineering that promote success for a highly diverse student body throughlearning communities, engaging academics and innovative policies.Courses were continuously adjusted real-time during and between semesters to optimize studentlearning outcomes and experience. We highlight how the resulting suite of qualitative andquantitative results provide a complex picture of the student experience, facilitating rapid cyclingof the continuous improvement process. In just five years, the Engineering XYZ Program hasbecome a mainstay of the access, retention and performance components of the inclusiveexcellence system, and has dramatically shifted the engineering college’s diversity throughexcellence outcomes.Results from both qualitative and quantitative research suggest that when compared to direct-admit and pre-engineering students, some unique curricular and sociocultural components of theXYZ Program contribute to the success of the diverse students. These elements, and the specificmethods used to reveal the critical factors, will be detailed in the final paper.

Sullivan, J. F., & Myers, B. A., & O'Connor, K., & Peck, F. A., & Ennis, T. D., & Stites, N. A., & Louie, B., & Cafarella, J., & Kotys-Schwartz, D. A. (2015, June), Continuously Improving a Diversity-Bolstering System through Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Engineering GoldShirt Program Facets Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23744

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: © 2015 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