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Full Paper: Examination of the Development of Grit in First-Year Engineering Students

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2018 FYEE Conference


Glassboro, New Jersey

Publication Date

July 24, 2018

Start Date

July 24, 2018

End Date

July 26, 2018

Conference Session

Technical Session II

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Conference Sessions

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Paper Authors


Jenahvive K. Morgan Michigan State University

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Dr. Jenahvive Morgan is the instructor for EGR 100 - Introduction to Engineering Design at Michigan State University. EGR 100 is a large course with an enrollment of over 1600 students in the academic year. She is also currently the Director of Positions for the ASEE Women in Engineering Division, as well as an ASCE ExCEED Fellow. Dr. Morgan has a PhD and MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University. Her interests include innovative laboratory experiments for undergraduate instruction, engineering design for first-year students, and encouraging women to study engineering. For the three years prior to teaching at Michigan State University, she taught freshman and sophomore engineering courses at Rowan University. While at Rowan University she was Co-Director of RILED (Rowan Instructional Leadership and Educational Development), the advisor for the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and given the ASEE Campus Representative Outstanding Achievement Award. Her teaching experience also includes work as a graduate student facilitator and engineering teaching consultant at the University of Michigan.

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The effect of a first-year engineering course on student grit was examined. Students in an introduction to engineering design course worked in teams to complete design projects. Design prototypes and reports were completed as part of the course, while lectures were presented covering the topics of grit, project management, and interpersonal team building. Students completed a grit survey in the beginning of the course, and again after materials and activities used to develop grit were presented. Since both completing the requirements for an engineering degree and going on to work professionally as an engineer are not easily achieved, it is important for students to develop grit to ensure success in accomplishing these goals. Unfortunately, how a student develops grit can be difficult to understand. A self-reporting measure of grit was given to the students to examine their ability to sustain effort and interest in activities which span months or longer to complete. These traits have been found to predict achievement in challenging environments. The effectiveness of the course material on student grit was evaluated using a comparison of the students’ responses to the two surveys. After material on grit was presented, students who reported a high school GPA below a 3.0 were found to be less discouraged by setbacks, and less likely to be distracted from pursuing their long-term goals. Overall, female students reported more grit than male students.

Morgan, J. K. (2018, July), Full Paper: Examination of the Development of Grit in First-Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2018 FYEE Conference, Glassboro, New Jersey. 10.18260/1-2--31407

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