Crystal City, Virginia
April 29, 2018
April 29, 2018
May 2, 2018
Diversity and Undergraduate Education
Promoting student centered success strategies is a primary goal at the United States Coast Guard Academy (CGA). CGA, the smallest of the five federal service academies, is an undergraduate institution of approximately 1000 cadets (students) with four engineering majors; approximately 40% of the Cadet Corps (student body) graduates with an engineering degree. The CGA educational experience emphasizes leadership, physical fitness and professional development. Our cadets go directly into positions of leadership in service of others in the Coast Guard. For this reason, leadership is a focal point in cadet development. The CGA works to ensure our leaders are developed in an inclusive and supportive environment. This environment is cultivated through seven diversity councils made up of members of the Cadet Corps. These councils (1) promote a culture of respect that values a broad spectrum of skills and perspectives while ensuring supportive and rewarding learning environments for all; (2) provide experiential opportunities for cadets to engage in leadership practices and (3) serve as conduits by which underrepresented cadets can interact with cadets who embrace the philosophical, intellectual, and operational value of diversity as a means to living the mission of "developing culturally competent leaders of character”. Ensuring CGA cadets understand the importance of inclusion, equity and diversity in leadership is essential for all graduates. Our engineering graduates benefit from what is being done Corps wide and these Corps wide activities open doorways for discussions in engineering classrooms that may not normally be opened in an engineering setting, specifically, gender discussions surrounding the “confidence gap” and the “imposter syndrome”. Success discovered in some of these unscripted conversations is being explored in the hopes of fostering more intentional discussions on this topic and others related to the inclusion of all underrepresented groups specifically in engineering.
Fleischmann, C. M., & Johnson, R. L. (2018, April), Harnessing Student Leadership to Drive an Inclusive Environment in an Undergraduate Engineering Program Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29542
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: © 2018 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