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Dilemmas in Cocurricular Support: A Theoretical and Pragmatic Discussion on Current Practices and Future Challenges

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Conference

2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 14, 2019

Start Date

April 14, 2019

End Date

April 22, 2019

Conference Session

Track: Collegiate - Technical Session 3

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Collegiate

Page Count

22

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31755

Download Count

17

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Paper Authors

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Stephen Secules Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Stephen is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue. He has a prior academic and professional background in engineering, having worked professionally as an acoustical engineer. His research focuses on equity and inclusion in undergraduate engineering education. He uses critical qualitative and ethnographic methodologies to investigate and improve engineering classroom culture. He is also interested interested in framings of co-curricular student support that center intersectionality and liberation.

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Walter C. Lee Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1411

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Dr. Walter Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the assistant director for research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), both at Virginia Tech. His research interests include co-curricular support, student success and retention, and diversity. Lee received his Ph.D in engineering education from Virginia Tech, his M.S. in industrial & systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and his B.S. in industrial engineering from Clemson University.

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Karis Boyd-Sinkler Virginia Tech

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Karis Boyd-Sinkler is a doctoral candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She also serves as support staff for the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity where she is involved in the recruitment, outreach, and retention of engineering students. Her research interests include diversity in engineering and the role of engineering student support centers in regards to student attrition and persistence rates. Ms. Boyd received her B.S. in Engineering Science from the University of Virginia in 2014.

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Adam Stark Masters Virginia Tech

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Adam S. Masters is a doctoral student and Graduate Research Assistant at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. They received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Delaware and are currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Adam's research interests include access, equity and social justice in engineering.

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Cynthia Hampton Virginia Tech

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Cynthia Hampton is a doctoral candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech.

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Ashley R. Taylor Virginia Tech

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Ashley Taylor is a doctoral candidate in engineering education at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, where she also serves as a program assistant for the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity and an advisor for international senior design projects in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Ashley received her MS in Mechanical Engineering, MPH in Public Health Education, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include access to higher education, broadening participation in engineering, the integration of engineering education and international development, and building capacity in low and middle income countries through inclusive technical education.

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Dustin M. Grote Virginia Tech

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Dustin M. Grote currently serves as the Graduate Research Assistant for the Virginia Tech Network for Engineering Transfer Students (VT-NETS) Program with the Engineering Education Department at Virginia Tech. He is also a PhD student in the Higher Education Program with an emphasis in Research, Policy, and Finance. His research focuses primarily on access issues for underrepresented/minority and low income students, community college pathways, policy, organizational and systems structures, and assessment and evaluation in higher education contexts.

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Abstract

Colleges of engineering seeking to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion often do so through co-curricular support, scholarships, and supplemental instruction. Substantial education research has focused on documenting the structure and effectiveness of such practices, primarily from a pragmatic perspective highlighting programmatic features or documenting assessment results. Building on these efforts, our research team is working towards clarifying and critiquing the strategic aims and nuanced choices involved with crafting such initiatives. In this paper, we use collaborative inquiry methodology to identify key dilemmas associated with enhancing the inclusivity of institutional support. We reflect on aspects including program participation, structure, advertisements, messages, recruitment. The results highlight subtle ways that well-intentioned practitioners can further marginalize students from underrepresented populations in engineering by not considering dimensions of inclusion, including gender identity and expression, race and ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+, first-generation status, and socio-economic status.

In our interactive conference session, we use our proposed framework to reflect ways of crafting increasingly inclusive co-curricular support structures and practices. In collaboration with session participants, we will identify key dilemmas, such as:

• How to support gender non-binary students when program structures often reify binary categories of women and men;

• How to reach students in marginalized identity categories who do not wish to be associated with a particular identity by participating;

• How to acknowledge and support hidden and intersectional identity groups within program structures that organize around single shared identities;

We invite co-curricular support practitioners and other stakeholders to participate in our reflective dialogue around theoretical and practical dilemmas in co-curricular support. In addition to considering collective dilemmas as important new foci for research and practice, we will collectively brainstorm possible new approaches and structures to account for these dilemmas. We hope the ongoing dialogue initiated by this conversation will spark creative solutions and spur transformation across many local settings.

Secules, S., & Lee, W. C., & Boyd-Sinkler, K., & Masters, A. S., & Hampton, C., & Taylor, A. R., & Grote, D. M. (2019, April), Dilemmas in Cocurricular Support: A Theoretical and Pragmatic Discussion on Current Practices and Future Challenges Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/31755

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