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Engineering Education Enrichment (e3) Initiative: A Co-Curricular Program Intended to Improve Persistence and Career Success for Low-Income and First-Generation Engineering Students

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Hannah Huvard New Mexico State University

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Dr. Huvard is currently a Postdoctoral researcher at New Mexico State University. Her research focuses on non-traditional frameworks and measures of success in undergraduate STEM programs and courses.

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Hengameh Bayat New Mexico State University

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PhD Candidate in chemical engineering at New Mexico State University

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Sandra M. Way New Mexico State University

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Catherine Brewer New Mexico State University


Addison Miller

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I am an undergraduate student studying Aerospace and Mechanical engineering. I contribute to two separate research projects and participate in multiple student organizations. My interest include flight dynamics, aircraft design, propulsions (aircraft and rocketry), and bringing positive opportunities to others.

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Antonio Garcia New Mexico State University

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The College of Engineering at New Mexico State University (NMSU) has created a co-curricular Engineering Education Enrichment (e3) Initiative through a grant funded by the National Science Foundation (IUSE: HSI Award #1953466). The goal of the e3 Initiative is to provide project-based, hands-on learning experiences to undergraduate engineering students. Specifically, the initiative has a target population of low-income and first-generation engineering students. These experiences are largely student-led so that students are empowered to take charge of their own learning as adults. Students choose from a variety of industry-guided design projects, industry-recognized certifications, and entrepreneurship training. As part of the e3 Initiative, there is ongoing research analyzing various aspects of this initiative. Specifically, this research is examining who participates in the e3 program and what effects this program has on students’ social-psychological traits, which have been previously shown to be important indicators of retention and persistence in engineering. These traits include engineering identity, self-efficacy, and self-directed learning. Using survey data from both e3 Initiative participants and non-participants in fall 2020 and spring 2021, our preliminary results indicate that females are more likely to participate, while low-income students are less likely to participate in the e3 Initiative at NMSU. Other preliminary results from survey data indicate that e3 Initiative participants saw a significant increase in their engineering identity after completion of their chosen project or certificate, specifically in regards to their recognition as an engineer by their family, peers, and instructors.

Huvard, H., & Bayat, H., & Way, S. M., & Brewer, C., & Miller, A., & Garcia, A. (2022, August), Engineering Education Enrichment (e3) Initiative: A Co-Curricular Program Intended to Improve Persistence and Career Success for Low-Income and First-Generation Engineering Students Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--42061

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