Daytona Beach, Florida
August 6, 2017
August 6, 2017
August 8, 2017
Diversity and FYEE Conference - Works in Progress Submission
Understanding General Engineering Students’ Identification as Engineers Authors:
Racheida Lewis Ph.D. Student, Virginia Tech firstname.lastname@example.org 202-352-6077
Tamara Knott Associate Professor, Virginia Tech email@example.com 540-231-9543
This paper is a work in progress analysis of major choices by first year engineering students in the General Engineering (GE) program at Virginia Tech. Students whose major is GE are enrolled in Foundations of Engineering I and II (fall and spring respectively), two courses that are part of Virginia Tech’s First Year Experiences. These courses are designed to equip students with problem solving skills, inquiry skills, and integration of learning skills necessary for navigating college level curricula . The series surveys are administered to GE students at three times over the course of their first year: in August at the beginning of the fall semester; in December at the end of the fall semester; and in April at the end of the spring semester. All three surveys collect data about which majors GE students are interested in pursuing at the three points of administration. Survey results used in this study include responses from students who were in the GE program during the 2015-16 academic year and completed all three surveys with a 67% total response rate. Students are required to take these surveys and submit their confirmation of survey completion as a homework assignment in the first-year courses; however, their participation in research is voluntary. Most adults have multiple things they identify with whether it’d be their race, gender, occupation, or even relationship statuses to a spouse, offspring, or other family members. Having social identities provides a person with social validation and a framework for which they navigate the world. These identities are usually beneficial but can also be challenging if one has difficulty incorporating one or more of their identities in their life . Domain identification theory is the extent to which one define themselves through a role or performance in a domain, such as engineering . The First Year surveys administered to students includes relevant constructs using validated measures ; 12 survey items are related to utility and may infer students’ identification as engineers, and 9 items are related to belonging to the GE community. At the conclusion of the academic year, most first year engineering students would have completed three surveys that inquires about the usefulness of engineering as a field, and their experience and sense of belonging to the GE program at Virginia Tech. Using domain identification as the theoretical underpinnings for this paper, we seek to gain a better understanding of the relationships between belonging to the GE community at Virginia Tech and identifying as an engineer.
1. First Year Experiences at Virginia Tech. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017, from https://www.fye.vt.edu/ 2. Settles, I. H. (2004). When multiple identities interfere: the role of identity centrality. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(4), 487–500. http://doi.org/10.1177/0146167203261885 3. Jones, B. D., Paretti, M. C., Hein, S. F., & Knott, T. W. (2010). An Analysis of Motivation Constructs with First-Year Engineering Students: Relationships Among Expectancies, Values, Achievement, and Career Plans. Journal of Engineering Education, 99(4), 319–336. http://doi.org/10.1002/j.2168-9830.2010.tb01066.x 4. Jones, B. D., Ruff, C., & Osborne, J. W. (2015). Fostering Students’ Identification With Mathematics and Science. In Interest in mathematics and science learning (pp. 331–352). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
Lewis, R., & Knott, T. (2017, August), Understanding General Engineering Students’ Identification as Engineers Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/29439
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