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Professional Development Program for High School Counselors on the Engineering Design Process (Evaluation)

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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

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 10

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Lydia Ross Arizona State University

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Dr. Lydia Ross is a clinical assistant professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. She also serves as the executive director of the Association for Education Finance & Policy. She holds a PhD in Educational Policy and Evaluation from Arizona State University. Her research focuses on equity and access and in higher education, with a focus on STEM.

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Medha Dalal Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

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Medha Dalal is a postdoctoral scholar at Arizona State University. She received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Gujarat University in India, M.S. in Computer Science from New York University, and Ph. D. in Education from Arizona State University. Her research seeks to build capacity for engineering education stakeholders at the grassroots, while also informing policy. Three thrusts that define her research interests at the intersections of engineering, technologies, and education include, ways of thinking that address complex educational challenges, democratization of K-12 engineering education, and online and technology-based learning.

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Adam R. Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Adam Carberry is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering, The Polytechnic School. He earned a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in Chemistry and Engineering Education respectively. His research investigates the development of new classroom innovations, assessment techniques, and identifying new ways to empirically understand how engineering students and educators learn. He currently serves as the Graduate Program Chair for the Engineering Education Systems and Design Ph.D. program. He is also the immediate past chair of the Research in Engineering Education Network (REEN) and an associate editor for the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). Prior to joining ASU he was a graduate student research assistant at the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

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Jacob Roarty

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High school counselors play a pivotal role in students’ educational pathways to STEM careers. Guidance provided by these school officials can have a measurable influence on student education and career choices. . School counselors play a critical role in student selection of elective courses, achievement, and fostering an environment through outreach activities. Each of these factors can influence students’ career interests, college choice, and major selection. This is one reason for why it is important to begin planning and having conversations around pursuing an engineering degree in high school to combat the lack of diversity in engineering rooted within the primary and secondary education systems. Recognizing school counselors as an untapped resource and equipping them with the knowledge and resources they need to inform students about engineering will allow them to increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in engineering, especially for historically underrepresented minorities. Such capacity building of school counselors will inherently improve the diversity of our nation's engineering workforce. This research study details the development and evaluation of a professional development (PD) program for high school guidance counselors. The PD was situated within the context of a national high school engineering initiative aimed at demystifying the engineering experience through inclusive, secondary-level engineering curricula. The counselor PD was conducted virtually over the summer of 2020. In total, 15 counselors completed the six-week PD -. Counselors participated in a series of engineering design activities to learn more about the engineering process. They also attended information sessions about engineering stereotypes, stereotype threats, implicit biases, and different disciplines within engineering to better inform their students of future career options. This paper details the development and program structure of the counselor PD. Pre- and post-focus groups were used to gain insight into counselors’ perceptions of engineering. Post-surveys were also collected to determine what counselors thought about the PD. We will provide detail regarding shifts in perceptions of engineering and overall evaluation of the PD. We conclude with a discussion of key takeaways and lessons learned.

Ross, L., & Dalal, M., & Carberry, A. R., & Roarty, J. (2021, July), Professional Development Program for High School Counselors on the Engineering Design Process (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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