Asee peer logo

Revisiting Engineering Identity in a Common Introduction to Engineering Course to Improve Retention

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Wednesday Cornucopia (Educational Research)

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--33248

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33248

Download Count

369

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Michele Yatchmeneff University of Alaska, Anchorage

visit author page

Michele Yatchmeneff is Unangax (Alaska Native) who grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle in rural villages along Alaska’s Aleutian chain. She earned a BS in Civil Engineering in 2005 and an MS in Engineering Management in 2009 at University of Alaska Anchorage. After earning her BS she began working in Alaska’s construction and engineering industry, specializing in water and sewer projects in remote villages across the state. She also worked as the Deputy Director of the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP). Professor Yatchmeneff earned her PhD in Engineering Education from Purdue University in 2015. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her research focuses on belonging, motivation, and success for Alaska Native science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) students.

visit author page

biography

Matthew E. Calhoun University of Alaska, Anchorage

visit author page

Matt Calhoun is an Athabaskan Indian from the Upper Kuskokwim River region who grew up in Homer, Alaska. In 2002 he was one of the first students in the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program ( ANSEP™) to graduate and earn a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage. After being employed in the construction industry, he returned to work with ANSEP™ as Pre-College Program Director in 2006 with the purpose of motivating and empowering more Alaska Native high school students to pursue a degree in science or engineering. Matt has now earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and is the only Alaska Native in the world to complete a doctorate in civil engineering. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage and mentors engineering students while working with ANSEP™.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

This complete research paper revisits and describes the efficacy of first-year retention interventions focused on engineering identity that were developed for a common Introduction to Engineering course. This research aims to improve retention rates where presently about half of the engineering undergraduate students exit or drop out. The American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) has indicated that engineering universities should develop retention programs to reduce these numbers. One of the main recommendations is to develop first-year retention programs. At one university, two engineering professors developed first-year retention interventions into the common Introduction to Engineering course they teach. The main interventions employed included refocusing the course on engineering identity. To initially measure if these interventions were effective, an engineering identity pre and post survey was given to four common Introduction to Engineering courses, which comprised of 169 high school and undergraduate students who completed the courses taught in 2016. Four more classes were given the pre and post surveys that were taught in 2017 and 2018 to bring the total number of students surveyed to 273.

The survey instrument used in this study was largely adopted from Prybutok, Patrick, Borrego, Seepersad, and Kiristis who completed a similar study. This paper discusses the quantitative results from these engineering identity pre and post surveys. During the initial look of the courses taught in 2016, the engineering factors that significantly improved from the pre to the post surveys included: performance/competence, design efficacy, recognition by others, and recognition by self. The other engineering factors measured for the courses taught in 2016 that were found to not have significantly improved included: interest, creativity, and caring. By adding the four courses taught in 2017 and 2018, the engineering factors that significantly improved from the pre to the post surveys included: performance/competence, interest, creativity, design efficacy, recognition by others, and recognition by self. The only engineering factors measured from 2016-2018 that was found to not have significantly improved included: caring. These interventions improved the students’ engineering identities. Future work should include conducting a paired survey where the participants’ pre and post survey results are connected and look at ways to improve the students’ engineering identity in the area of caring.

Yatchmeneff, M., & Calhoun, M. E. (2019, June), Revisiting Engineering Identity in a Common Introduction to Engineering Course to Improve Retention Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33248

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: © 2019 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