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Engineering Technology and Engineering Program Comparison of Underrepresented Students in the Same Institution

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

ET Administrative Issues

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Anne M. Lucietto Purdue Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Lucietto has focused her research in engineering technology education and the understanding of engineering technology students. She teaches in an active learning style which engages and develops practical skills in the students. Currently, she is exploring the performance and attributes of engineering technology students and using that knowledge to engage them in their studies.

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Lesley M. Berhan University of Toledo

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Lesley Berhan is currently the Interim Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement for the College of Engineering and an Associate Professor in the department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering at The University of Toledo. Her research interests are in the areas of composites and fibrous materials and engineering education. She received her B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad, her M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She joined the faculty at the University of Toledo in 2004. As the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement, she leads the development and execution of initiatives and programs to facilitate the recruitment, retention, and success of women, students from underrepresented groups and first generation students. These duties are well aligned with her current research interests and external funding in engineering education.

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Engineering programs include far fewer African American students than engineering technology students enrolled in four-year programs at universities offering both ABET accredited programs. Several studies show this contrast, suggesting that further research in this area is warranted. The rationale for the higher population of students consistently in one program over the other is generally unknown. While researchers study the engineering population, the engineering technology population goes relatively unnoticed. The effects of a student’s past and current environments in engineering technology are relatively unknown.

Researchers developed a survey to gather data from underrepresented populations in universities that meet the noted criteria. While the premise for this survey was to learn more about these students, their demographics, community and school support and preparation for the university experience, as well as their plans for the future, due to the demographics of this population most of the respondents were white. Research shows that learning in the informal community and family environments influences and supports student choices, and success. Originally it was anticipated that students meeting similar demographic criteria in the engineering and engineering technology programs would be compared within each of the universities studied with both ABET programs. Considering the responses obtained using the survey, the focus of this work is intended to learn more about this student population, their path to engineering technology, and to better understand the impact of differing institutions.

Lucietto, A. M., & Berhan, L. M. (2018, June), Engineering Technology and Engineering Program Comparison of Underrepresented Students in the Same Institution Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30418

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