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Exploring Military Veteran Students’ Pathways in Engineering Education

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

6

Page Numbers

26.730.1 - 26.730.6

DOI

10.18260/p.24067

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24067

Download Count

86

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Paper Authors

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Joyce B. Main Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Joyce B. Main is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy from Cornell University, and an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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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, teacher 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 Amer-
ican 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 departments on diversifying their under-graduate student population. Dr. Brawner previously served as principal evaluator of the NSF-sponsored SUCCEED Coalition. She remains an active researcher with MIDFIELD, studying gender issues, transfers, and matriculation models in engineering.

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Susan M Lord University of San Diego

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Susan M. Lord received a B.S. from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego. Her teaching and research interests include electronics, optoelectronics, materials science, first year engineering courses, feminist and liberative pedagogies, engineering student persistence, and student autonomy. Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Lord is a fellow of the ASEE and IEEE and is active in the engineering education community including serving as General Co-Chair of the 2006 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, on the FIE Steering Committee, and as President of the IEEE Education Society for 2009-2010. She is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education. She and her coauthors were awarded the 2011 Wickenden Award for the best paper in the Journal of Engineering Education and the 2011 Best Paper Award for the IEEE Transactions on Education. In Spring 2012, Dr. Lord spent a sabbatical at Southeast University in Nanjing, China teaching and doing research.

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Catherine Mobley Clemson University

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Catherine Mobley, Ph.D., is a Professor of Sociology at Clemson University. She has over 20 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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Michelle M. Camacho University of San Diego

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Michelle Madsen Camacho is Chair and Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of San Diego. She formerly held two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, San Diego, at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Fluent in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, her research uses theories from interdisciplinary sources including cultural studies, critical race, gender and feminist theories. Central to her work are questions of culture, power and inequality. She is affiliated faculty with the Department of Ethnic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Latin American Studies.

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Abstract

Military Veteran Students’ Pathways in Engineering Education (Year 1: Award# 1428646)Military veterans hold tremendous promise for expanding and diversifying the engineeringworkforce. Given the diverse backgrounds of veterans, their increasing numbers, and thegrowing national demand for engineering professionals, the timing is ideal to study theconditions under which student veterans pursue engineering education and the factors that offerthem the greatest support for success. Increasing the participation of veterans in engineeringoffers the possibility of enhancing engineering’s diversity in many needed dimensions since,compared to civilian students, veterans are more likely to be older, first-generation collegestudents, disabled, African American, or Latino. Yet, little is known regarding the educationalpathways and experiences of student veterans into engineering. This project therefore aims toaddress gaps in the literature on student veterans in engineering through a comparative casestudy across four institutions: University of San Diego, North Carolina State University, PurdueUniversity, and Clemson University. The following research questions are addressed:1. Why do veterans pursue a Bachelor’s degree in engineering?2. How do military experiences shape student veterans’ educational experiences?3. What are the experiences of student veterans in engineering education?4. How do institutions support veterans in engineering education?The research plan incorporates content analysis of academic policies that student veteransencounter, interviews with key informants on each campus, focus group interviews with studentveterans, and in-depth student interviews to elicit rich narratives. The theoretical frameworkbuilds on Tinto’s student integration model and Schlossberg’s adult transition theory. Data willbe analyzed with the lens of intersectionality to elucidate differences stemming from theintersection of military status with race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomicstatus. Findings will provide context and information for various applications, such as:development of new strategies to support student veterans' success, identification of overlookedareas to promote student veterans' participation in engineering, and generation of criticalinformation for development of larger-scale studies for investigating student veterans inengineering. Thus, this study has potential for broad systemic impact by diversifying pathways toand through engineering programs, and in capitalizing on the informal and real-worldexperiences of engineering student veterans.

Main, J. B., & Brawner, C. E., & Lord, S. M., & Mobley, C., & Camacho, M. M. (2015, June), Exploring Military Veteran Students’ Pathways in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24067

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