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Developing Two-Year College Student Engineering Technology Career Profiles

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

The Curriculum at Two-year College's Engineering Technology and Engineering Transfer Programs

Tagged Division

Two-Year College

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36945

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36945

Download Count

65

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Paper Authors

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Kristin Kelly Frady Clemson University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4194-8848

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Kristin Frady is an Assistant Professor at Clemson University jointly appointed between the Educational and Organizational Leadership Development and Engineering and Science Education Departments. Her research focuses on innovations in workforce and career development in educational, community, and industry contexts, specifically focusing on middle skills, STEM, and community college applications.

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Christy Brown Clemson University

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Dr. Christy Brown is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Quantitative Methodology in the Department of Education and Human Development (EHD) at Clemson University. She is the director of the EHD Quantitative Clinic, which provides statistical support to educational researchers.

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Karen A. High Clemson University

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Dr. Karen High holds an academic appointment in the Engineering Science and Education Department (ESED) at Clemson University. Prior to this Dr. Karen was at Oklahoma State University where she was a professor for 24 years in Chemical Engineering. She received her B.S. in chemical engineering from University of Michigan in 1985 and her M.S. in 1988 and Ph.D. in 1991 in chemical engineering both from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Karen’s educational research emphasis includes faculty development and mentoring, graduate student development, critical thinking and communication skills, enhancing mathematical student success in Calculus (including Impact of COVID-19), and promoting women in STEM. Her technical research focuses on sustainable chemical process design, computer aided design, and multicriteria decision making. She also has extensive experience in K-12 STEM education and program evaluation and assessment. She has held a variety of administrative positions: 1) Director of STEM Faculty Development Initiatives-Clemson, 2) Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences-Clemson, 3) Interim Director of Student Services-Oklahoma State University, 4) Coordinator of the Women in Engineering Program-Oklahoma State University, and 5) Director of the Oklahoma State University Measurement and Control Engineering Center-Oklahoma State University.

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Claretha Hughes Ph.D. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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Dr. Claretha Hughes is Professor of Human Resource and Workforce Development at the University of Arkansas (UA. Her research interests include valuing people and technology in the workplace, technology development, diversity intelligence, learning technologies, and ethical and legal issues. She has published numerous articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals, books, and conferences and has 13 books. She serves as a book proposal reviewer for SAGE, Emerald, IGI Global, Palgrave Macmillan, and CyberTech Publishing. She is currently involved in a National Science Foundation Research in Formation of Engineers project as a Co-PI.
She has served in manufacturing leadership roles for Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, Abbott Laboratories, and Burlington Industries. She is a national member of ATD and has twice presented at the ATD International Conference and Exposition. Dr. Hughes is a Langevin Certified Master Trainer, Harvard Management Development Fellow, and a Darden School of Business Minority Executive Education Scholar. She has a PhD in Career and Technical Education from Virginia Tech, Master of Textiles in Textile Technology Management from NC State University, B.A. in Chemistry from Clemson University, and MBA in Management from University of Arkansas.

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Robert M O'Hara Clemson University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7004-0487

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Robert is a doctoral candidate in the learning sciences program at Clemson University. His research interests lie at the intersection of structured learning environments, sense of belonging, and academic confidence in undergraduate engineering students. A focus is placed on the reciprocal interaction between psychological processes and behaviors in these students and how they change over time based on classroom environments and lived experiences. Prior to starting the Learning Sciences program, Robert, worked as a student affairs professional in higher education focusing on residential curriculum, social justice advocacy and awareness, and Intergroup Dialogue.

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Shuyu Huang

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Abstract

There is little research or understanding of curricular differences between two- and four-year programs, career development of engineering technology (ET) students, and professional preparation for ET early career professionals [1]. Yet, ET credentials (including certificates, two-, and four-year degrees) represent over half of all engineering credentials awarded in the U.S [2]. ET professionals are important hands-on members of engineering teams who have specialized knowledge of components and engineering systems. This research study focuses on how career orientations affect engineering formation of ET students educated at two-year colleges. The theoretical framework guiding this study is Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT). SCCT is a theory which situates attitudes, interests, and experiences and links self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations, and personal goals to educational and career decisions and outcomes [3]. Student knowledge of attitudes toward and motivation to pursue STEM and engineering education can impact academic performance and indicate future career interest and participation in the STEM workforce [4]. This knowledge may be measured through career orientations or career anchors. A career anchor is a combination of self-concept characteristics which includes talents, skills, abilities, motives, needs, attitudes, and values. Career anchors can develop over time and aid in shaping personal and career identity [6]. The purpose of this quantitative research study is to identify dimensions of career orientations and anchors at various educational stages to map to ET career pathways. The research question this study aims to answer is: For students educated in two-year college ET programs, how do the different dimensions of career orientations, at various phases of professional preparation, impact experiences and development of professional profiles and pathways? The participants (n=308) in this study represent three different groups: (1) students in engineering technology related programs from a medium rural-serving technical college (n=136), (2) students in engineering technology related programs from a large urban-serving technical college (n=52), and (3) engineering students at a medium Research 1 university who have transferred from a two-year college (n=120). All participants completed Schein’s Career Anchor Inventory [5]. This instrument contains 40 six-point Likert-scale items with eight subscales which correlate to the eight different career anchors. Additional demographic questions were also included. The data analysis includes graphical displays for data visualization and exploration, descriptive statistics for summarizing trends in the sample data, and then inferential statistics for determining statistical significance. This analysis examines career anchor results across groups by institution, major, demographics, types of educational experiences, types of work experiences, and career influences. This cross-group analysis aids in the development of profiles of values, talents, abilities, and motives to support customized career development tailored specifically for ET students. These findings contribute research to a gap in ET and two-year college engineering education research. Practical implications include use of findings to create career pathways mapped to career anchors, integration of career development tools into two-year college curricula and programs, greater support for career counselors, and creation of alternate and more diverse pathways into engineering.

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References [1] National Academy of Engineering. (2016). Engineering technology education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. [2] The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, (IPEDS). (2014). Data on engineering technology degrees. [3] Lent, R.W., & Brown, S.B. (1996). Social cognitive approach to career development: An overivew. Career Development Quarterly, 44, 310-321. [4] Unfried, A., Faber, M., Stanhope, D.S., Wiebe, E. (2015). The development and validation of a measure of student attitudes toward science, technology, engineeirng, and math (S-STEM). Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 33(7), 622-639. [5] Schein, E. (1996). Career anchors revisited: Implications for career development in the 21st century. Academy of Management Executive, 10(4), 80-88. [6] Schein, E.H., & Van Maanen, J. (2013). Career Anchors, 4th ed. San Francisco: Wiley.

Frady, K. K., & Brown, C., & High, K. A., & Hughes, C., & O'Hara, R. M., & Huang, S. (2021, July), Developing Two-Year College Student Engineering Technology Career Profiles Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36945

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