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Ethnic Student Organizations in Engineering: Implications for Practice from Two Studies

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Developing Identities for Robust Careers in Engineering

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

20

DOI

10.18260/p.26744

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26744

Download Count

116

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Paper Authors

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Julie P Martin Clemson University

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Julie P. Martin is an assistant professor of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University. Her research interests focus on social factors affecting the recruitment, retention, and career development of underrepresented students in engineering. Dr. Martin is a 2009 NSF CAREER awardee for her research entitled, “Influence of Social Capital on Under-Represented Engineering Students Academic and Career Decisions.” She held an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in 2012-2013, with a placement at the National Science Foundation.

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Renata A Revelo University of Illinois at Chicago

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Renata A. Revelo is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Shannon K Stefl Clemson University

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Shannon Stefl is a doctoral research assistant in the Engineering & Science Education department at Clemson University. She received her B.S. degree in physics from Kent State University and her M.S. degree in physics from Clemson University. sstefl@clemson.edu

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Stacey D Garrett Clemson University

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Stacey D. Garrett is a PhD student in the School of Education at Clemson University. She holds a Master of Education from James Madison University and worked professionally in housing and fraternity/sorority affairs for six years. Her research interests include the experiences of faculty women of color and students of color in STEM.

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Stephanie G. Adams Virginia Tech

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Dr. Stephanie G. Adams is the Department Head and Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She previously served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University and was a faculty member and administrator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Her research interests include: Teamwork, International Collaborations, Faculty Development, Quality Control/Management and Broadening Participation. She is an honor graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering, in 1988. In 1991 she was awarded the Master of Engineering degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1998. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation's most prestigious, Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education, holds membership in a number of organizations and presently serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Society of Black Engineers.

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Abstract

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015