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Minority Graduates in Engineering Technology: Trends in Choice of Major

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

New Directions for Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Yury Alexandrovich Kuleshov Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Yury A. Kuleshov is a graduate student earning his Master's in Engineering Technology degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He received his Diploma in Engineering (6-year program) from Bauman Moscow State Technical University, where he majored in Robots and Robotic Systems, and specifically Underwater Robots and Vehicles. He has experience working as an engineer, a research assistant at Purdue University, and an instructor. His research as a Master's student is in autonomous vehicles, engineering education, and aviation technology. His thesis topic focuses on conducting engineering analysis of semi-autonomous trailer connections.

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Emily Rada Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Emily Rada is a master's Engineering Technology student at Purdue University, studying predictive maintenance in turbine generators. She graduated in May 2019 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University, concentrating on power generation and fuel sources.

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Anne M. Lucietto Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Lucietto has focused her research in engineering technology education and the understanding of engineering technology students. She teaches in an active learning style which engages and develops practical skills in the students. Currently she is exploring the performance and attributes of engineering technology students and using that knowledge to engage them in their studies.

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The paper presents a demographic analysis of college graduates in engineering technology (ET). The paper intends to investigate the graduates’ background, population, and choice of major.

Graduates in engineering technology are a much smaller population than those found in other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs. Little publishing exists about who they are and how long it took to pursue their degree while examining other available demographic data. The delineation of this paper does not include computer science and computer technology programs. Several opinions exist about who these students are, where they come from, and what interests them. The paper presents a view of existing data of the most extensive undergraduate engineering technology programs at a Midwestern university. The authors aimed to clarify a number of these opinions and determine if further study is warranted, mainly providing direction and form of that future work. The authors built their conclusions on the processed data results in such categories as basic demographics, gender, ethnicity, program changes, and graduation majors.

The authors analyzed the University-provided demographics data as reported by college graduates in engineering technology. The authors established gender and ethnic patterns and then addressed two research questions. The authors used ethnicity as a lens to explore the undergraduate experiences of female and minority graduates in engineering technology. The first research question allowed the authors to establish the proportion of engineering technology graduates' ethnicities and compare it to the proportion of ethnicities in the United States population. The development of a response to the second research question uses ethnicity as a lens, investigating how female ET students navigate and establish their major while focusing on representation in their respective ethnic groups.

Future research can include examining the data for insight into who applies for funding, scholarships, and other means to support themselves while pursuing a degree in technology. The paper provides the readers with the foundational elements to further explore the engineering technology student population and determine what funding or financial needs may encourage more students to pursue a degree in engineering technology. Using this more extensive institutional database will provide a means to further our understanding of student perception, needs, and those factors that influence their education decisions at a bachelor's degree level. The result of this work will begin to lead educators and administrators in their quest to diversify and increase student populations in engineering technology.

Kuleshov, Y. A., & Rada, E., & Lucietto, A. M. (2021, July), Minority Graduates in Engineering Technology: Trends in Choice of Major Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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