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Engineering Achievement: An Exploratory Case Study of Minority Engineering Organization Chapter Activities

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Developing Identities for Robust Careers in Engineering

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Nicole M Yates National Society of Black Engineers Orcid 16x16

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Nicole Yates currently serves as the Senior Research Analyst for the National Society of Black Engineers. She graduated from Stanford University with a Master's degree in Psychology and completed a thesis that focused on gender differences in reasons for switching from STEM to non-STEM majors. Her background is in research and academia.

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Barry Nagle Evaluation and Action Research Associates

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Barry Nagle is a Senior Researcher and Managing Partner with Evaluation and Action Research Associates and also serves in the same role with the Gates Millennium Scholars Program/UNCF. Prior to this, he served as the Director of the Center for Assessment, Planning and Accountability (CAPA) with the UNCF Special Programs Corporation (UNCFSP). Dr. Nagle joined UNCFSP to establish the center in November, 2004.Prior to joining UNCFSP, Dr. Nagle was the Research & Evaluation Specialist Team Lead at NASA Peer Review Services in Washington, D.C. working primarily with NASA’s Office of Education.Dr. Nagle was a public school educator in Pennsylvania and North Carolina for 11 years and has worked in the research and evaluation field for the past 20 years.Dr. Nagle has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education/Special Education from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and an M.A. in Education from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Nagle has completed graduate work in Educational Research Methodology at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and earned his doctorate at George Washington University in Educational Administration and Policy Studies.Professionally he has conducted 21 national and international research and evaluation projects and over 100 regional and local research and evaluation projects.

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Studies such as Omer, Sampson & Lee (1999) highlight the importance of minority-focused engineering organizations to the achievement of minority students. With over 250 collegiate chapters and nearly 12,000 domestic collegiate members, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) provides a programmatic infrastructure for academic support of students pursuing engineering degrees. However, chapters conduct a wide range of activities that tend to be highly individualized. Thus, the organization seeks to understand how these chapters contribute to the success of each member.

In partnership with the Evaluation and Action Research Associates, NSBE executed an original research study to focus on chapter activities in the collegiate demographic. Participants in this study, which utilized surveys and existing NSBE data, included student chapter leaders as well as advisors (minority engineering program directors, engineering college faculty). Four major questions guided the survey design:

1. What are the characteristics of each chapter? 2. What activities do the chapters engage in, by type? 3. What assessment methods do the chapters employ to track success? 4. What outcomes are the chapters achieving, by type?

The outcomes of interest directly align with NSBE’s 2025 strategic goal to graduate 10,000 black engineers annually and include GPA, engineering program retention, graduation rate, and graduate school entrance rates. Ultimately, the analysis paints a more comprehensive picture of who the chapters are and what they do. Many other engineering organizations utilize the chapter model; this research provides an exploratory framework for chapter activities and offers suggestions for better tracking and measuring the key factors that influence success on the collegiate level.

Yates, N. M., & Nagle, B. (2016, June), Engineering Achievement: An Exploratory Case Study of Minority Engineering Organization Chapter Activities Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27297

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