New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
Focus group conversations were conducted with minority students from eleven engineering schools . This study focuses on analysis of a mini-survey administered during the focus group session in order to augment group discussions, which can be dominated by strong personalities thereby skewing the results. One hundred and forty-four students, comprised of 51.4% African American, 36.8% Hispanic, and 11.8% of Other ethnicities, completed three open-ended questions on -- how they became interested in engineering, what it takes to be successful in the engineering program, and their advice to incoming minority students. A fourth question required their assessment of the effectiveness of seven academic support program components. Major student responses were coded for thematic content or tabulated, and then entered into regression equations against four measures of achievement, including students' GPA, longevity in the program, average SAT/ACT scores of minority students in the school of matriculation, and their school's effectiveness in graduating minority students as assessed by 6 year graduation rates. Responses positively associated with achievement indices were then factor analyzed to isolate common clusters associated with success in engineering. While the most frequent student responses to the four questions were skill in math, dedication, focus, and study groups, respectively, the five emerging factors associated with greater student success were: (1) Participation in effective program components that provide practical engineering experience -- project or problem-based courses, research experience, and industry internships; (2) A burning desire to become an engineer and reap its economic career benefits; (3) Taking advantage of all institutional resources provided; (4) Combining motivation and dedication with effective time management; and (5) Involvement in Minority Engineering Programs (MEP). The results are noteworthy in suggesting that the first and most foremost success factor for minorities in engineering is exposure to engineering itself.
Fleming, J. (2016, June), Success Factors for Minorities in Engineering: Analysis of Focus Group Mini-Surveys Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25948
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