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Research on Innovation and Creativity in Higher Education in Engineering and Science for Community Colleges: Student Strengths and Challenges

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session I

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

19

DOI

10.18260/p.26086

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26086

Download Count

105

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Paper Authors

biography

Gisele Ragusa University of Southern California

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Gisele Ragusa is a Professor of Engineering Education at the University of Southern California. She conducts research on college transitions and retention of underrepresented students in engineering and also research about engineering global preparedness and engineering innovation. She also has research expertise in STEM K-12 and in STEM assessment. She chairs USC's STEM Consortium.

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Abstract

Research on Innovation and Creativity in Higher Education in Engineering and Science for Community Colleges: Student Strengths and Challenges

There is a critical need for more students with engineering and science majors to enter into, persist, and graduate from postsecondary institutions. Increasing the diversity in engineering and science is also a profound identified need. According to national statistics, the largest groups of underrepresented minority students in engineering and science attend America’s public higher education institutions and in particular the community colleges. Recent research has indicated that students from these populations who are strong problem solvers, and who understand how to seek assistance and navigate college campuses, are most likely persist to degree completion. Accordingly, this research seeks to examine a sample of non-traditional college students enrolled in science and engineering programs in four urban community colleges to determine (a) the types and frequency of support practices they utilize, (b) how such practices influence their achievement, persistence and transfer status to four year colleges and universities, and (c) how in turn their propensity for innovation and creative problem solving affects such choices and persistence. The study analyzes the pedagogical practices—practices designed to foster successful transfer from community college to four-year colleges and universities and how students’ innovative capability influences such transfer capacity. The goals are: (1) to explore the pedagogical practices used to support non-traditional students in community colleges to inform persistence, (2) to understand whether such practices are effective in offering non-traditional students a program that enables them to stay in engineering and science majors and to transfer to a four year college or university, and (3) to determine if students’ propensity for innovative problem solving influences use of pedagogical practices and ultimately, transfer persistence. The research targets five research questions: (1) What are the patterns of pedagogical practices that community colleges employ to enhance students’ transfer success in engineering and science? (2) Are there discernable profiles of non-traditional students enrolling in engineering and science majors in community colleges that utilize these pedagogical practices? (3) How do students’ creative and innovative problem solving approaches influence the choices that they make in using pedagogical support practices? (4) What are the impacts of pedagogical practices and differences among pedagogical practices, on persistence toward students’ transfer to colleges and universities? (5) How do students’ creative and innovative problem solving approaches influence their persistence toward transfer to engineering and science programs at 4-year universities? This research project studies an area and group of students that have been historically understudied, community college students in engineering and science. It builds upon the researchers’ current studies of STEM pathways and students’ propensity for innovation, both of which are research areas recognized as areas that engineering education must cultivate in students. The RICHES project also provides rigorous empirical research on students who have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education research, thereby advancing the knowledge to higher education research communities. During this year, the students’ first year of data was collected. Results indicate diversity in student needs but also in their strengths especially as to innovative problem-solving. This innovation is directly related to the students’ level and type of life challenges.

Ragusa, G. (2016, June), Research on Innovation and Creativity in Higher Education in Engineering and Science for Community Colleges: Student Strengths and Challenges Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26086

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: © 2016 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