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Paper [ENGAGE: Co-curricular Profile for Engineering Students at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo]

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Conference

2021 ASEE Pacific Southwest Conference - "Pushing Past Pandemic Pedagogy: Learning from Disruption"

Location

Virtual

Publication Date

April 23, 2021

Start Date

April 23, 2021

End Date

April 25, 2021

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

10

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/38242

Download Count

14

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Paper Authors

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John Y Oliver California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2877-6751

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Dr. Oliver is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. His field of expertise is in computer architecture and system performance analysis, dabbler in cybersecurity and passionate about broadening pathways for students in engineering.

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Chance Hoellwarth California Polytechnic State University

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Chance Hoellwarth is the Director for Cal Poly's Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education and a member of the Physics Department.

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Daniel Almeida California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4679-7185

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Dr. Daniel Almeida is an Associate Professor in Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is Lead Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded California State University Underrepresented Minority STEM Faculty Alliance for Graduate Education & the Professoriate (AGEP) Model: A Culturally-Informed Strengths-Based Approach to Advance Early-Career Faculty Success. Dr. Almeida is also Co-Principal Investigator for the NSF Scholarships in Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (S-STEM) grant, Engineering Neighbors: Gaining Access Growing Engineers (ENGAGE). Dr. Almeida’s graduate training is in Urban Education Policy – Higher Education from the University of Southern California.

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Lizabeth L Thompson P.E. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Dr. Lizabeth Thompson is a professor in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. She has been at Cal Poly for nearly 30 years and has held various positions on campus including Co-Director of LAES, Director of Women’s Engineering Programs, and CENG Associate Dean. Her research is in Engineering Education, particularly equitable classroom practices, integrated learning, and institutional change. She spent last academic year at Cal State LA where she taught and collaborated on research related to equity and social justice. She is also a co-advisor to Engineers without Borders and Critical Global Engagement at Cal Poly.

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Montana Epps Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

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Montana is a graduate student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, currently earning her M.S. in Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs. She is originally from San Diego, CA and earned her B.A. in History at UCLA. In addition to being a graduate student, Montana is the Graduate Assistant at the Cal Poly Transfer Center, and works closely with New Student and Transition Programs, specializing in the Transfer Orientation Experience. She is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion, which has led her to pursue research opportunities surrounding these topics. As a former foster youth, low-income and first-generation college student herself, Montana understands the difficulty students often face when trying to acclimate to their campus environment. Inspired by her own experiences, she strives to create a stronger sense of belonging for underrepresented minority students on college campuses. Her top five Clifton Strengths are: Futuristic, Discipline, Focus, Restorative, Achiever.

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Jamie Bettencourt

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Jamie Bettencourt is a Master's Degree candidate at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs program. Jamie earned his Bachelor's degree in Language Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He also holds a California Education Specialist Instruction Credential and a M.Ed. from Grand Canyon University. Currently, Jamie is an Academic Success Coach at Cuesta Community College, working with a broad intersection of students as part of a college-wide effort to support and bolster student success.

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Abstract

There are many studies[] supporting the importance of informal education opportunities for college students. For many engineering and computer science students, informal educational opportunities often come in the form of co-curricular activities, such as student clubs. These co-curricular activities give space for students to put their studies into context, help students build identities as engineers or computer scientists, and provide social outlets where students can find emotional support, peer accountability and immediate feedback.

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo is a primarily undergraduate polytechnic university with a strong student club culture. We wanted to understand the importance of co-curricular activities to Cal Poly undergraduates. To begin this study, we employed the PosSE survey which is a validated instrument for measuring out-of-class engagement of engineering students to help provide a profile of out-of-class activities by Cal Poly undergraduates. We compare the PosSE survey data from Cal Poly against a predominately white institution (presumably R1) located in a Mid-Atlantic university.

We find remarkable similarities between out-of-class activities between the two different student populations, despite the different missions of the two universities. Similarities include the types of out-of-class activities, reasons for participating in out-of-class activities, and barriers to participating in out-of-class activities. A highlight of some of the differences include: research activities were more highly valued at the R1 school, where design competition teams were more highly valued at Cal Poly. It also appears that Cal Poly’s strong club culture promotes a greater sense of belonging to the college than in the R1 school, whereas students at the R1 school were more likely to appreciate professional and intellectual development.

COVID-19 has provided a unique opportunity. We conducted the PosSE survey at the very early stages of the COVID pandemic. Future work includes re-issuing the PosSE survey to measure the impact that COVID has had on out-of-class activities, and future survey will hopefully measure the recuperation of out-of-class activities that were impacted by the pandemic.

Oliver, J. Y., & Hoellwarth, C., & Almeida, D., & Thompson, L. L., & Epps, M., & Bettencourt, J. (2021, April), Paper [ENGAGE: Co-curricular Profile for Engineering Students at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo] Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Pacific Southwest Conference - "Pushing Past Pandemic Pedagogy: Learning from Disruption", Virtual. https://strategy.asee.org/38242

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