July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Educational Research and Methods
Engineering education continues to see lower representation and graduation rates from traditionally minoritized student populations. Research on minoritized student success emphasizes the importance of developing a sense of belonging; however, this can be difficult for underrepresented and minoritized students who do not see many others like them in their classes. Under these circumstances, students from underrepresented populations can feel like they do not belong in engineering, particularly at U.S. institutions with predominantly White male engineering programs. Because engineering students spend a large portion of their academic time with other students in their department, the demographic diversity of the department is an important environmental factor to consider when studying student success. This study uses multilevel logistic modeling to account for individual student factors and department-level diversity measures to predict the ecosystem metric of student stickiness, applied in this case as the likelihood of students persisting in their engineering department from second to third year. The sample includes 9,349 second-year engineering students enrolled from 2009-2018 at a large research-intensive university in the Midwest across 12 engineering departments. The results indicate that second-year GPA and minoritized student status significantly predict persistence within a department, and there are differences in the importance of second-year GPA across departments. However, department-level diversity measures of female and minoritized student representation are not significant in predicting department-level persistence. Future research will expand the ecosystem variables used to predict student stickiness with a particular focus on variables that relate to diversity and inclusion in engineering education.
Waller, D. R., & Maeda, Y., & Ohland, M. W., & Tay, L. (2021, July), The Impact of Department Diversity on Student Persistence and Success in Engineering Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37869
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