June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Military and Veterans
As the engineering community seeks to widen the pathways toward engineering education, hundreds of thousands of military veterans are initiating their college studies at universities across the U.S. Given this trend, it is essential to better understand the factors that lead student veterans to choose to major in engineering.
We are conducting a comparative case study at four institutions enrolling undergraduate student veterans in engineering (SVEs). In this paper, we draw upon in-depth interviews conducted with SVEs at two of these institutions to: (1) better understand the factors that shape SVEs’ decisions to major in engineering and, (2) determine whether and how the military influences student veterans’ decisions to major in engineering. Our work provides insights into the timing of the decision as well as the extent to which military training and experiences provide a direct, or indirect, pathway into engineering.
We highlight student narratives to advance knowledge about SVE’s educational pathways on several fronts. Methodologically, our in-depth analysis allows us to capture the nuanced nature of SVE narratives that often remain hidden when using other approaches to studying engineering education. Theoretically, we draw from Cognitive Information Processing theory to more accurately reflect SVE decision making about majoring in engineering. Practically, the results can inform military transition assistance programs and improve university efforts to ensure that student veterans experience a successful transition from their military career to higher education and engineering studies.
Mobley, C., & Brawner, C. E., & Main, J. B., & Lord, S. M., & Camacho, M. M. (2017, June), Entering the Engineering Pathway: Student Veterans’ Decision to Major in Engineering Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28285
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