July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
Effects of High Impact Educational Practices on Engineering and Computer Science Student Participation, Persistence, and Success at Land Grant Universities
Despite ongoing efforts nationwide, student participation, persistence and success remain challenges in engineering and computer science (E/CS) undergraduate degree programs, especially among women and members of groups underrepresented in these fields. Results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which queries first year and senior college undergraduates across all degree programs, consistently indicate that students who participate in “high impact educational practices” (HIEP), including internships, learning communities, service learning, study abroad, or undergraduate research, experience better outcomes (e.g., persistence, retention) compared to students who do not participate in these activities. It is not clear from these results, however, whether and how participation in HIEP affects student outcomes among E/CS students, particularly those from underrepresented groups.
In September of 2019, we initiated a multi-institutional NSF-funded project to investigate associations, if any, that exist between HIEP and student outcomes for engineering and computer science students at two, predominantly white (one is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution) western land grant universities. Overall, our research project is guided by the following research questions:
1. To what extent do engineering and computer science students participate in HIEP?; 2. What relationships, if any, exist between engineering and computer science student participation in HIEP and their performance outcomes?; and 3. How do contextual factors (e.g. institutional, personal, social, financial, etc.) affect student awareness, interest, and participation in HIEP?
This two-year project employs a two-phase, explanatory, sequential, mixed-methods approach organized into three phases: (Phase 1) analysis of existing NSSE survey data collected at both institutions; (Phase 2) development and implementation of a HIEP participation survey among current engineering and computer science students at both institutions; and (Phase 3) conduct of focus group interviews among current E/CS students at both institutions to probe survey results and develop deeper understandings about how contextual factors affect HIEP participation, especially among women and members of groups underrepresented.
During Project Year 1, Phase 1 and 2 activities were conducted; analysis of the HIEP survey results is currently ongoing. Early results show that E/CS student participation in HIEP is a predictor of academic success, for the students surveyed, based on a multiple regression model of the survey data. Results further show that, beyond capstone design experiences, E/CS students reported participating in internships (38%) more than, and study abroad (5%) less than, any other HIEP. These results may reflect the professional nature of these disciplines and have implications for the development of globally competent E/CS professionals. During Project Year 2, we will develop the interview protocols and conduct focus group interviews with volunteer survey participants. Overall, this research is poised to provide evidence-based recommendations for implementing HIEP at other similar land grant institutions. Ultimately, we hope that this work will improve engineering and computer science student awareness of, access to, and participation in HIEP across a wide spectrum of student demographic groups and will lead to a more diverse engineering workforce.
Claiborn, C. S., & Minichiello, A., & Adesope, O., & Ewumi, E. R., & Asghar, M. (2021, July), Effects of High Impact Educational Practices on Engineering and Computer Science Student Participation, Persistence, and Success at Land Grant Universities Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37014
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