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Ph.D.S In Engineering: Getting Them Through The Door And Seeing Them Graduate Faculty And Industry Perspectives

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Mentoring Graduate Students, Diversity, and Assessment

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

15.952.1 - 15.952.8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16210

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

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Monica Cox Purdue University

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Monica F. Cox, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She obtained a B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College, a M.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Teaching interests relate to the professional development of graduate engineering students and to leadership, policy, and change in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Primary research projects explore the preparation of engineering doctoral students for careers in academia and industry and the development of engineering education assessment tools. She is a NSF Faculty Early Career (CAREER) award winner and is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

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Osman Cekic Purdue University

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Osman Cekic, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Purdue University School of Engineering Education. Osman’s research interests include higher education policy, finance and the linkages between budget and organizational culture, and college student retention. In his previous appointments, Osman has worked with the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and finance and financial aid data, and he continues to explore these subjects. He is also interested in engineering education culture as well as leadership and policy issues in engineering education.

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Sara Branch Purdue University

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Sara Branch is in the Psychological Sciences doctoral program at Purdue University. Her primary research interests are in Personality and Social Psychology. For the past two years she has been collaborating with the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University to study the psychological processes underlying the underrepresentation of women in STEM with a particular focus on how individual differences in personality and the experience of social influence may contribute. Primary research projects explore differences in Person- and Thing-Orientation as well as differences in identified and internalized student motivations for pursuing STEM fields. She holds a BA from the University of Portland in Portland, OR.

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Rocio Chavela Guerra Purdue University

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Rocío C. Chavela is a doctoral candidate in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She obtained a B.S and a M.S. in chemical engineering from Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, Mexico. Her research interests involve faculty development, curriculum development, and engineering education research communities. She is an Engineering Education Graduate Fellow of the National Academy of Engineering’s Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE).

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James Cawthorne Purdue University

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James Cawthorne is a doctoral candidate in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University.

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Benjamin Ahn Purdue University

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Benjamin Ahn, is a Ph.D engineering student at Purdue. He obtained a B.E in Aerospace Engineering from University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia, and a M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Purdue University. He has mentored approximately 50 undergraduate student researchers in Purdue's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, and has taught first-year engineering students in the School of Engineering Education. His research interests relate to graduate teaching assistants’ roles in the development of undergraduate engineering students.

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Abstract
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Ph.D.s in Engineering: Getting Them through the Door and Seeing Them Graduate- Faculty and Industry Perspectives Abstract This study focuses on the importance of recruitment and retention of PhD students in engineering fields from faculty and industry perspectives. Engineering faculty and industry experts were interviewed to explore their views of the recruitment and retention of domestic and international students into PhD programs in engineering fields. Findings point to a variety of ways to improve recruitment and retention of PhD students, including industry support and encouragement for graduates who work in the industry, funding issues, communicating the possible advantages of a graduate degree to students, and online degree program development. The study specifically explores the problems and barriers to attracting, retaining, and graduating qualified individuals from engineering disciplines and emphasizes possible solutions to retention and recruitment barriers from higher education and industry perspectives. Introduction

Recruitment and retention of Ph.D. students in engineering fields is becoming increasingly important. Global, economic, educational trends, and college and university efforts play big roles in this process and thereby require increased attention and research. The global trade market has given rise to a breadth and intensity of competition that values flexible teams with multi-talented members1.While the educational development in countries such as China and India challenges the United States’ position as leader in engineering education at the undergraduate level2. These countries have also recognized the value of doctoral education. In the U.S., 56% of all doctoral degrees within engineering are awarded to foreign-born students3. Over the past decade however, China has seen a 420% increase in the number of doctoral degrees awarded in science and engineering2 Despite the many studies which have been conducted since ABET’s EC 2000 criterion was established in 1996, researchers have not explored empirically many studies of engineering at the graduate level. Given that U.S. engineers will represent a smaller percentage of the engineering profession in the future2 and that U.S. engineering universities will have to compete more aggressively to attract talented engineers to conduct university research, an immediate focus on the recruitment and preparation of engineering doctoral students within U.S. institutions is needed. Literature Review In the mid to late 1900s, the U.S. saw a dramatic increase in the number of doctoral education recipients. Since the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) began in 19574 the number of doctorates granted by U.S. universities has, on average, increased by approximately 3.5% per year. However, the growth in the number of doctorates has not been stable. Until 2006, when higher education institutions awarded the highest number of doctorates in history with 45,596 doctorate recipients, there had been periods of rapid growth and decrease in the number of doctorates awarded. Between 1961 and 1971 the number of doctorates awarded each year almost tripled from 10,000 to 31,867. This number remained stable during the late 1970s and through the early 1980s. After a second period of growth in the mid-80s, 42,637 research doctorates were

Cox, M., & Cekic, O., & Branch, S., & Chavela Guerra, R., & Cawthorne, J., & Ahn, B. (2010, June), Ph.D.S In Engineering: Getting Them Through The Door And Seeing Them Graduate Faculty And Industry Perspectives Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16210

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: © 2010 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