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Explaining Choice, Persistence, and Attrition of Black Students in Electrical, Computer, and Mechanical Engineering: Award# EEC-1734347, Grantee Poster Session - Year 2

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: Diversity 2

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34635

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34635

Download Count

187

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Paper Authors

biography

Catherine Mobley Clemson University

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Catherine Mobley, Ph.D., is a Professor of Sociology at Clemson University. She has over 30 years experience in project and program evaluation and has worked for a variety of consulting firms, non-profit agencies, and government organizations, including the Rand Corporation, the American Association of Retired Persons, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Since 2004, she been a member of the NSF-funded MIDFIELD research project on engineering education; she has served as a Co-PI on three research projects, including one on transfer students and another on student veterans in engineering.

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Marisa K. Orr Clemson University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5944-5846

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Marisa K. Orr is an Assistant Professor in Engineering and Science Education with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. Her research interests include student persistence and pathways in engineering, gender equity, diversity, and academic policy. Dr. Orr is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award for her research entitled, “Empowering Students to be Adaptive Decision-Makers.”

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Catherine E. Brawner Research Triangle Educational Consultants

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Catherine E. Brawner is President of Research Triangle Educational Consultants. She received her Ph.D.in Educational Research and Policy Analysis from NC State University in 1996. She also has an MBA from Indiana University (Bloomington) and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. She specializes in
evaluation and research in engineering education, computer science education, and technology education. Dr. Brawner is a founding member and former treasurer of Research Triangle Park Evaluators, an American Evaluation Association affiliate organization and is a member of the American Educational Research Association and American Evaluation Association, in addition to ASEE. Dr. Brawner is also an Extension Services Consultant for the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) and, in that role, advises computer science and engineering departments on diversifying their undergraduate student population. She remains an active researcher, including studying academic policies, gender and ethnicity issues, transfers, and matriculation models with MIDFIELD as well as student veterans in engineering. Her evaluation work includes evaluating teamwork models, broadening participation initiatives, and S-STEM and LSAMP programs.

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Rebecca Brent Education Designs, Inc

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Rebecca Brent is President of Education Designs, Inc., a consulting firm located in Chapel Hill, N.C. She is a certified program evaluator and a faculty development consultant. Brent received her B.A. from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., her M.Ed. from Mississippi State University, and her Ed.D. from Auburn University. She was an Associate Professor of education at East Carolina University before starting her consulting firm in 1996.

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Abstract

Our project aims to enhance understanding of the policies and practices that promote persistence and graduation as well as attrition for Black students in Electrical Engineering (EE), Computer Engineering (CpE), and Mechanical Engineering (ME). The qualitative portion of our study seeks to explore in depth the causes of the observed differences while our quantitative study explores whether the findings of the earlier research are consistent over time and with a broader set of institutions. Our transformative mixed-methods project responds to calls for more cross-institutional qualitative and longitudinal studies of minorities in engineering education. Our study is investigating the following overarching research questions: 1. Why do Black men and women choose and persist in, or leave, EE, CpE, and ME? 2. What are the academic trajectories of Black men and women in EE, CpE, and ME? 3. In what ways do these pathways vary by gender or institution? 4. What institutional policies and practices promote greater retention of Black engineering students?

To explore our research questions, our mixed-methods approach capitalizes on the quantitative power of large sample sizes available from the Multi-Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD) and the qualitative richness of 80 in-depth interviews with students at predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and a historically black college and university (HBCU); key informant interviews; and detailed content analysis of institutional policies and contexts at four institutions. Our work advances prior research by interviewing both persisters and switchers in EE CpE, and ME to better understand the nuanced and complex nature of retention and attrition among these students.

Mobley, C., & Orr, M. K., & Brawner, C. E., & Brent, R. (2020, June), Explaining Choice, Persistence, and Attrition of Black Students in Electrical, Computer, and Mechanical Engineering: Award# EEC-1734347, Grantee Poster Session - Year 2 Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34635

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