Asee peer logo

Enabling Factors and Barriers for Adopting Engineering Curricula in High Schools: School, District, and State Administrator Perspectives (Fundamental)

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 10

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Medha Dalal Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Medha Dalal is a postdoctoral scholar in the Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. She received her Ph. D. in Learning, Literacies, and Technologies with an emphasis on engineering education from the Arizona State University. Her research interests lie at the intersections of engineering, technologies, and education focusing on ways of thinking, online learning and democratization of K-12 engineering education.

visit author page


Adam R. Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Adam Carberry is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering, The Polytechnic School. He earned a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in Chemistry and Engineering Education respectively. His research investigates the development of new classroom innovations, assessment techniques, and identifying new ways to empirically understand how engineering students and educators learn. He currently serves as the Graduate Program Chair for the Engineering Education Systems and Design Ph.D. program. He is also the immediate past chair of the Research in Engineering Education Network (REEN) and an associate editor for the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). Prior to joining ASU he was a graduate student research assistant at the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Pre-college engineering education has been on a sharp rise in the United States. Numerous schools offer some variation of an engineering curricula, but challenges remain regarding socio-cultural perceptions of engineering, teacher training, curricular alignment with state standards, and policy decisions. Many past studies have examined students’ and teachers’ knowledge, perceptions, and beliefs regarding pre-college engineering instruction. Few studies have investigated the viewpoints of school administrators, or state and district personnel. This qualitative study investigated perspectives of three such administrators in a southwest US public high school. The school was one of nine pilot locations offering a new engineering course designed to ‘demystify’ engineering for high school students and teachers from all walks of life. Results converged around four major themes: 1) relevance and current state of pre-college engineering education, 2) teacher certification and professional development, 3) industry connections, and 4) expectations of pre-college engineering curricula. The resulting themes shed light on long standing issues affecting adoption of engineering at the pre-college level and highlight a few areas that upcoming pre-college engineering education programs could focus on.

Dalal, M., & Carberry, A. R. (2021, July), Enabling Factors and Barriers for Adopting Engineering Curricula in High Schools: School, District, and State Administrator Perspectives (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37029

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: © 2021 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