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Exploring the Experiences of Prospective Transfer Students in a Global Engineering Program

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Conference

2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 14, 2019

Start Date

April 14, 2019

End Date

April 22, 2019

Conference Session

Track: Collegiate - Technical Session 2

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Collegiate

Page Count

20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31762

Download Count

9

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Paper Authors

biography

Jessica R. Deters Virginia Tech

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Jessica Deters is a PhD student at Virginia Tech in the Department of Engineering Education. She holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics & Statistics and a minor in the McBride Honors Program in Public Affairs from the Colorado School of Mines.

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Ashley R. Taylor Virginia Tech

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Ashley Taylor is a doctoral candidate in engineering education at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, where she also serves as a program assistant for the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity and an advisor for international senior design projects in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Ashley received her MS in Mechanical Engineering, MPH in Public Health Education, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include access to higher education, broadening participation in engineering, the integration of engineering education and international development, and building capacity in low and middle income countries through inclusive technical education.

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Teirra K. Holloman Virginia Tech

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Teirra Holloman is a doctoral student in engineering education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she serves as a graduate research assistant. She is concurrently pursuing a MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech with a focus in Management Systems.Teirra received her BS in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University. Her research interests revolve around broadening participation in engineering, experiential learning, and workforce development.

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Dustin M. Grote Virginia Tech

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Dustin currently serves as the Graduate Research Assistant for the Virginia Tech Network for Engineering Transfer Students (VT-NETS) Program with the Engineering Education Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His research focuses primarily on access issues for underrepresented/minority and low income students to bachelor degrees through community college pathways, curricular complexity for transfer pathways into engineering, higher education policy as barriers to access, and assessment and evaluation in a higher education context. Dustin is currently pursuing completion of a PhD in Higher Education with an emphasis in Research, Policy, and Finance. Prior to starting the PhD program, Dustin has worked in a variety of roles in admissions, recruitment and outreach for an array of public and private universities, community colleges, and for the department of higher education in Colorado. Beyond academia Dustin enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, mountain biking, skiing and playing sports with his wife, son, and dog.

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David B. Knight Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-2490

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David B. Knight is an Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head of Graduate Programs in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is also Director of International Engagement in Engineering Education, directs the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program, and is affiliate faculty with the Higher Education Program. His research tends to be at the macro-scale, focused on a systems-level perspective of how engineering education can become more effective, efficient, and inclusive, tends to be data-driven by leveraging large-scale institutional, state, or national data sets, and considers the intersection between policy and organizational contexts. He has B.S., M.S., and M.U.E.P. degrees from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Pennsylvania State University.

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Abstract

Keywords: Transfer, Socio-economic Status, Undergraduate

Participation in high impact practices, like study abroad experiences, helps students develop global competencies, improve chances of academic success, and enhance interpersonal, cognitive, and intrapersonal competencies. Although study abroad programs have largely achieved gender parity, some students remain systematically underrepresented in study abroad, including underrepresented racial/minority groups, transfer students, and low income or first-generation students. The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the study abroad experiences of prospective engineering transfer students who currently attend a community college, have financial need, and participate in a global engineering program at Virginia Tech. We focus on the following research question: How do prospective transfer students describe their experience in an engineering study abroad program?

Our study context is a global engineering program with approximately 180 rising sophomore students who engage in a Spring semester global engineering class followed by a two-week international module on one of seven international tracks. Using narrative analysis, we examine journal reflections of prospective transfer students who participate in the program. Our findings suggest that (1) prospective transfer students reflected candidly on moments of discomfort and tension during interactions with peers from Virginia Tech, and (2) prospective transfer students reported gaining a deeper understanding of engineering, even reporting a desire to work internationally as engineers in the future.

Overall, this paper highlights a need for expanding access to study abroad programs and for program administrators to integrate potential transfer students into the group carefully and purposefully, especially when those students are older than their peers. This paper also calls for more focused research into the experiences of potential transfer students, including longitudinal studies about the long-term impacts of participating in high-impact practice programs on participants’ future success at Virginia Tech.

Deters, J. R., & Taylor, A. R., & Holloman, T. K., & Grote, D. M., & Knight, D. B. (2019, April), Exploring the Experiences of Prospective Transfer Students in a Global Engineering Program Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/31762

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