July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Pre-College Engineering Education
High school contexts and characteristics can lead to differing students’ perceptions, and subsequently, behaviors in terms of college enrollment. Existing literature has shown that there can be access inequity caused by high schools geographical and surrounding contexts, and such inequity can influence students’ postsecondary pathways. In particular, access inequity is salient in college engineering enrollment as students who successfully enroll in engineering tend to graduate from high schools that have sufficient supports and resources, such as offerings of advanced math, science and engineering courses, engineering and technology related events and others. Literature that address the problem are abundant; yet, studies that focus on understanding how high school contexts and characteristics influencing students’ perceptions on postsecondary pathways are not sufficiently studied. This study aims to begin to fill the research gap. Stemming from an overarching mixed-method research project that studies the possible gatekeepers that influence Virginia high school students’ decisions to enroll in engineering, this qualitative study focuses on understanding differences of students’ expectations of engineering postsecondary pathways of two case sites located in different regions of Virginia. We root the study with the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) construct of outcome expectations, and plan to answer: How do student outcome expectations on postsecondary pathways in terms of engineering compare between high schools in different geographical regions of Virginia? We employ the secondary analysis methodology on the existing data set collected for the overarching project to answer the research question. We conduct a priori qualitative coding on the data set, which are interview transcripts with ten participants, six in one region and four in the other. These participants are teachers, school counselors and principals of the four different schools located in the two regions. Emerging themes from the coding process can illustrate the similarities and differences in student outcome expectations in terms of geographical differences. Preliminary results show there may be differences in student outcome expectations on engineering postsecondary pathways in different high schools located in the same region. Specifically, two high schools in the more urban region (assumption of more resources) observe different student outcome expectations, with one leaning heavy toward four-year going while the other has more loosely defined pathway expectations. This observation is similar to the two high schools that are located in a more rural region (assumption of less resources) of Virginia. This preliminary finding potentially illustrates the nuances of access inequity in high schools as regions that are expected to have more resources may still experience unequal access among high schools within the region.
Chew, K. J., & Matusovich, H. M., & Carrico, C. (2021, July), High School Student Outcome Expectations on Postsecondary Pathways in Two Regions of Virginia (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37243
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: © 2021 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