Asee peer logo

Low-Income, High-Achieving Students and Their Engineering Identity Development After One Year of Engineering School

Download Paper |

Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37470

Download Count

15

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Janet Aderemi Omitoyin The University of Illinois at Chicago

visit author page

Janet Omitoyin is a PHD student in the Department of Curriculum and Instructions, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). An astute scholar, Janet’s quest for a solution to the problems of mathematics learning based on her experience as a student and later as a teacher is at the root of her enrollment for a PHD program at UIC with a view to be part of the solution to the systemic problems emanating from inadequacies in the training of mathematics teachers that is at the core of this problem.
Since enrollment at UIC, Janet had dedicated her studies and research efforts on Mathematics Socialization and identity amongst pre-service elementary teachers, an effort at understanding the reasons for lack of interest in the subject with a view to proffer solution and engender/motivate interest amongst this group that will eventually reflect in their classroom practices.
She is currently a Graduate Assistant with UIC Engage, a community focused project that provides help for less-privileged students from K-8 in mathematics, reading and writing. She continues to work as a substitute teacher occasionally to keep abreast with current practices within the school system.
Her work as a Research Assistant for the BEST program has turned out to be one of her best experiences as a graduate student with the educational and professional benefits that come with it. The program serves a dual benefit – her contributions to it success and the privilege to work with experienced researchers and science teachers.

visit author page

biography

Renata A. Revelo The University of Illinois at Chicago

visit author page

Renata A. Revelo is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She earned her B.S. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and her Ph.D. in Education Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois.

visit author page

biography

Betul Bilgin The University of Illinois at Chicago

visit author page

Betul Bilgin is Clinical Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering (CHE) at the University of Illinois
at Chicago (UIC) and has been teaching the Senior Design I and II courses for 6 years and Introduction to
Thermodynamics for two years. Since her appointment in 2014 she has been exploring active learning,
peer instruction, team-based, hands-on, application-based techniques in her classes to fully engage her
students. She was selected as a UIC Teaching Scholar for Spring 2017, named as an American Institute of Chemical
Engineers (AIChE) “35 under 35” winner in the education category for 2017 and named as American
Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) “20 under 40” awardee for 2018.

visit author page

biography

Houshang Darabi The University of Illinois at Chicago Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7881-6542

visit author page

Dr. Houshang Darabi is a Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Dr. Darabi has been the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of MIE since 2007. He has also served on the College of Engineering (COE) Educational Policy Committee since 2007. Dr. Darabi is the recipient of multiple teaching and advising awards including the UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017), COE Excellence in Teaching Award (2008, 2014), UIC Teaching Recognitions Award (2011), and the COE Best Advisor Award (2009, 2010, 2013).
Dr. Darabi is an ABET IDEAL Scholar and has led the MIE Department ABET team in three successful accreditations (2008, 2014, and 2020) of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering programs. Dr. Darabi has been the lead developer of several educational software systems as well as the author of multiple educational reports and papers. Dr. Darabi’s research group uses Big Data, process mining, data mining, Operations Research, high performance computing, and visualization techniques to achieve its research and educational goals. Dr. Darabi’s research has been funded by multiple federal and corporate sponsors including the National Science Foundation, and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

visit author page

biography

Rezvan Nazempour The University of Illinois at Chicago Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1806-0672

visit author page

Rezvan Nazempour is a graduate research assistant at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is completing her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and operations research at the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. She received her BSIE and MSIE from Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) and Alzahra University, respectively. Her research interests include educational data mining, graph mining, and machine learning.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Motivation This complete research paper will describe how low-income, high-achieving engineering students develop their engineering identity. In recent years, engineering identity has focused on many schools of engineering in research and praxis. Experiences shape the engineering identity of students in high school STEM-related classes; understanding how students self-identify and are identified as engineers holds promise for addressing minoritized students’ underrepresentation in the field. This paper focuses on students’ engineering identity development after one year of engineering school. Context This study is part of a longitudinal five-year project investigating low-income, high-achieving students’ engineering identity development. All of the students in the study are part of a program that provides financial, academic, professional, and social support. More about this program can be found in [Blinded for Submission]. Students were deemed low-economic status based on their unmet needs, which are determined through FAFSA’s Estimated Family Contribution. The high-achievement status was determined by using a combination of students’ high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores, where the student’s high school GPA was weighted more heavily. More about this determination can be found in [Blinded for Submission]. Conceptual Framework This study was guided by an integrated engineering identity conceptual framework—the science identity model (Carlone and Johnson, 2007), the model of multiple dimensions of identity (Abes et al., 2007), and aspects of community-based dimensions of engineering identity (Revelo Alonso, 2015). In this integrated model, there are four interrelated dimensions of science identity combined with other identities (e.g., gender, religion, ethnicity) that students develop in a fluid and dynamic way that shapes their engineering identity. Methods This longitudinal study aims to answer the following research question: How do low-income, high-achieving students develop their engineering identity after one year of undergraduate studies? Data Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted in the spring of 2019. The interviews lasted an average of 25 minutes each. The interview protocol had eight main questions with related follow-up questions that focus on self-recognition as engineers, recognition by others as engineers, engineering skills, feelings of competence, and access and presence of an engineering community. Questions about other identities influencing their engineering identity were asked.

Analysis This paper focuses on the qualitative part of the study. The interviews were analyzed by the authors using MAXQDA software. All the authors analyzed the interviews individually using deductive coding analysis guided by the framework and a codebook from the baseline interviews with the same cohort of students, as reported in [Blinded for Submission]. The authors performed two cycles of group coding to achieve consensus on instances and the meaning of codes. In the second cycle of coding, we began discussing patterns in the data, developing categories and discussing nuances in the categories created. Thus far, we have started to develop themes around these categories and connect these to past literature. Preliminary Results The following preliminary results show that all dimensions of engineering identity (i.e., community, recognition, performance, and competence) played a role in the student’s engineering identity development. As reported in [Blinded for Submission], all students recognized themselves as engineers or as aspiring engineers before college. After one year of college, only half of the students interviewed recognized themselves as engineers. Nevertheless, all students except one felt competent in their pursuit of an engineering degree. Family and peers serve as the primary sources of recognition for these students. Notably, people who are deemed experts in the field (e.g., engineering faculty) are missing sources of recognition in the students’ engineering trajectories. For students who identified as women, they mention clear intersections of gender identity and engineering identity. Lastly, two major influences for students’ engineering identity development were their socioeconomic status and their family. Implications The change in the students’ narratives as engineers at the end of their first year in college indicates the learning and growth that have taken place. The preliminary results show that these students have development in their engineering identity with regards to competence, performance of engineering skills. Intersections of identity development for women, with regards to gender and engineering, seem to be critical: at this stage students embrace and rationalize this intersection from an asset-based perspective. This study has implications for engineering educators and administrators to structure support programs to aid in the development of students’ engineering identity.

Omitoyin, J. A., & Revelo, R. A., & Bilgin, B., & Darabi, H., & Nazempour, R. (2021, July), Low-Income, High-Achieving Students and Their Engineering Identity Development After One Year of Engineering School Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37470

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