New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Minorities in Engineering
In this paper, we present results and implications from two studies focusing on the participation of African American and Latina/o students in ethnic student organizations. Conducted independently by two research teams, the two studies provide striking similarities in their findings. The combined body of work provides unambiguous evidence for the common assumption that participation in ethnic student organizations at predominantly White institutions bolsters underrepresented students’ identity development, persistence, and success in engineering studies and subsequent careers. Findings related to African American student and alumni participation in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) mirror several findings from the study of Latina/o students in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Specifically, results from the two studies share three common themes. Participants describe NSBE and SHPE as 1) providing opportunities for or explicitly emphasizing the development of professional and leadership skills; 2) having access to an engineering role model or becoming a role model themselves; and 3) creating a family-like support system. This paper focuses on the implications for institutional policies and college-level professionals derived from our combined body of work. We advocate for faculty, staff, and administrators to recognize the value of student participation in NSBE and SHPE and actively support student participation in these organizations. Furthermore, we suggest methods and pathways by which these key institutional players may support students; most important of which is through creating academic and social counter-spaces on their campuses. Doing so may ultimately enhance recruitment, transition to college, and persistence in engineering for students of color.
Martin, J. P., & Revelo , R. A., & Stefl, S. K., & Garrett, S. D., & Adams, S. G. (2016, June), Ethnic Student Organizations in Engineering: Implications for Practice from Two Studies Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26744
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