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Inequities in “Stuckness”: Exploring mobility patterns to higher ranked institutions from undergraduate to graduate school based on students’ race/ethnicity and first generation in college status

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Conference

2022 CoNECD (Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity)

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

February 20, 2022

Start Date

February 20, 2022

End Date

July 20, 2022

Conference Session

Technical Session 3 - Paper 2: Inequities in “Stuckness”: Exploring mobility patterns to higher ranked institutions from undergraduate to graduate school based on students’ race/ethnicity and first generation in college status

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Sessions

Page Count

28

DOI

10.18260/1-2--39125

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/39125

Download Count

271

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Paper Authors

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David B Knight Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-2490

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David B. Knight is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education and Special Assistant to the Dean for Strategic Plan Implementation at Virginia Tech. He is also Director of Research of the Academy for Global Engineering at Virginia Tech 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 leverage 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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Dustin Michael Grote Weber State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9189-2424

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Dustin M. Grote holds a PhD from Virginia Tech in Higher Education Research and Policy and currently serves as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is currently involved in several NSF-funded projects spanning undergraduate and graduate STEM education. His interdisciplinary research agenda includes graduate funding in STEM, transdisciplinary, experiential and adaptive lifelong learning, undergraduate education policies, systems thinking, organizational change, broadening participation in engineering, improving community college transfer pathways in engineering, curricular complexity in engineering, and assessment and evaluation in higher education contexts. Prior to pursuing a Ph.D., Dustin served as a Director of Admissions at Community College of Denver and in Outreach and Access Initiatives for the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Beyond academia, Dustin enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, mountain biking, skiing and playing sports with his wife, kids, and dog.

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Abdulrahman M Alsharif Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Abdulrahman M. Alsharif is a research assistant for the Engineering Education department and a Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech. He has received the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research scholarship to pursue his Master’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering at YSU. He is interested in teaching and learning, cognitive thinking, policy, guidelines, and assessments. He hopes to work as a social scientist in higher education.

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Maura J. Borrego University of Texas at Austin

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Maura Borrego is Director of the Center for Engineering Education and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and STEM Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Borrego is Senior Associaate Editor for Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. She previously served as Deputy Editor for Journal of Engineering Education, a Program Director at the National Science Foundation, on the board of the American Society for Engineering Education, and as an associate dean and director of interdisciplinary graduate programs. Her research awards include U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), a National Science Foundation CAREER award, and two outstanding publication awards from the American Educational Research Association for her journal articles. All of Dr. Borrego’s degrees are in Materials Science and Engineering. Her M.S. and Ph.D. are from Stanford University, and her B.S. is from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Anita Patrick Spelman College

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Anita Patrick received her PhD in STEM Education from The University of Texas at Austin and BS in Bioengineering from Clemson University. Her research interests include biomedical engineering education, identity, equity and student motivation. Email: anitapatrick@spelman.edu

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Maya Denton University of Texas at Austin

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Maya Denton is a STEM Education PhD student and Graduate Research Assistant in the Center for Engineering Education at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and her M.S. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from UT-Austin. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a chemical engineer for an industrial gas company.

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Gabriella Coloyan Fleming University of Texas at Austin

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Walter C. Lee Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1411

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Dr. Walter Lee is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the director for research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), both at Virginia Tech. His research broadly focuses on inclusion, diversity, and educational equity—particularly related to students from groups that are historically marginalized or underrepresented in engineering. Lee received his Ph.D. in engineering education from Virginia Tech, his M.S. in industrial & systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and his B.S. in industrial engineering from Clemson University.

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Homero Murzi Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3849-2947

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Homero Murzi (he|él|him|his) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech with honorary appointments at the University of Queensland (Australia) and University of Los Andes (Venezuela). Homero is the leader of the Engineering Competencies, Learning, and Inclusive Practices for Success (ECLIPS) Lab where he leads a team focused on doing research on contemporary and inclusive pedagogical practices, emotions in engineering, competency development, and understanding the experiences of Latinx and Native Americans in engineering from an asset-based perspective. Homero has been recognized as a Diggs Teaching Scholar, a Graduate Academy for Teaching Excellence Fellow, a Global Perspectives Fellow, a Diversity Scholar, a Fulbright Scholar, and was inducted in the Bouchet Honor Society. Homero serves as the VT Engineering Education Chair for Equity and Inclusion, and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Incoming Chair for the Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI). He holds degrees in Industrial Engineering (BS, MS) from the National Experimental University of Táchira, Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Temple University, and Engineering Education (PhD) from Virginia Tech.

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Abstract

Keywords: Graduate Race/Ethnicity 1st Generation Engineering and Computer Science

There is a large literature demonstrating differential access to bachelor’s degree programs in engineering and computer science based on an individual’s race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Much of these access issues can be explained based on historical and systemic inequities that form reinforcing feedback loops. White students whose parents attended college tend to attend high schools and have access to information that helps position their college applications to be competitive for “elite schools” based on what university admissions offices prioritize in their decisions. There is also evidence demonstrating that where a student attends college for undergraduate will influence future outcomes such as job placement and career earnings—attending such an “elite school” can have multiplying effects on an individual’s future. Although we are encouraged by some recent efforts to shift resources to postsecondary institutions that have historically not benefited from an inequitable higher education system, that similar reinforcing feedback loop persists at the undergraduate level based on school ranking, and racially minoritized and first generation students are underrepresented in highly ranked schools. That kind of inter-institutional stratification is also present at the graduate level, as research has shown that attending “elite” graduate programs influence later career outcomes, including, for example, higher rates of working in tenure track academic positions, jobs with higher salaries, and access to prestigious awards such as the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship program. Thus, at every stage of education, where one attends school matters for subsequent outcomes.

At the same time, obtaining a postsecondary education, in particular an education in engineering or computer science, has been described as a mechanism that enables upward mobility and a way to reduce inequality. In this session, we will interrogate that line of thinking given the stratification in the system and investigate the extent to which students tend to remain within certain strata of institutions. We will consider the extent to which movement between tiers of institutions (based on rankings in this analysis) tends to happen from students’ undergraduate institution of attendance to both Master’s and PhD institutions of attendance. Additionally, we will explore the extent to which students’ race/ethnicity and status as a first generation college student matters for mobility between tiers of institutions.

This session will present analysis based on data from the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). The SED is characterized by comprehensive coverage of doctoral recipients from institutions in the United States. Using a combination of self-administered paper surveys, web-based surveys, and computer-assisted telephone interviews, graduate schools typically require SED responses at the time of degree completion. In FY17, for example. 91.4% of the 54,664 individuals who were granted a research doctorate completed the SED, who respond to questions regarding their education paths, funding mechanisms during graduate school, and future career trajectories. Our session will draw on variables related to students’ parents’ education levels, race/ethnicity, and institutions of attendance for bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees. We will present “flows” of students across different institutional characteristics, including ranking, by students’ race/ethnicity and first generation in college status, as well as regression analyses.

Knight, D. B., & Grote, D. M., & Alsharif, A. M., & Borrego, M. J., & Patrick, A., & Denton, M., & Fleming, G. C., & Lee, W. C., & Murzi, H. (2022, February), Inequities in “Stuckness”: Exploring mobility patterns to higher ranked institutions from undergraduate to graduate school based on students’ race/ethnicity and first generation in college status Paper presented at 2022 CoNECD (Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity) , New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/1-2--39125

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