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Understanding International Engineering Doctoral Students’ Sense of Belonging Through Their Interpersonal Interactions in the Academic Community

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Conference

2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 14, 2019

Start Date

April 14, 2019

End Date

April 22, 2019

Conference Session

Track: Graduate - Technical Session 9

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Graduate Education

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31803

Download Count

1

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Paper Authors

biography

Eunsil Lee Arizona State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1200-2412

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Eunsil Lee is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education Systems and Design program at Arizona State University (ASU) in the Fulton Schools of Engineering, The Polytechnic School. She earned a B.S. and M.S. in Clothing and Textiles from Yonsei University (South Korea) with the concentration area of Nanomaterials and Biomaterials in Textiles. She began her Ph.D. study in Textile Engineering but shifted her path toward Engineering Education a year later. Her research interests currently focuses on engineering doctoral students in underserved populations such as women and international students.

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Jennifer M. Bekki Arizona State University

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Jennifer M. Bekki is an Associate Professor in The Polytechnic School within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. Her research interests include topics related to engineering student persistence, STEM graduate students (particularly women), online learning, educational data mining, and the modeling and analysis of manufacturing systems. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering and graduate degrees in Industrial Engineering, all from Arizona State University.

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Adam R. Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0041-7060

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Dr. Adam Carberry is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering Polytechnic School. He earned a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in Chemistry and Engineering Education respectively. His research investigates the development of new classroom innovations, assessment techniques, and identifying new ways to empirically understand how engineering students and educators learn. Prior to joining ASU he was a graduate student research assistant at the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

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Nadia N. Kellam Arizona State University

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Nadia Kellam is Associate Professor in the Polytechnic School of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). She is a qualitative researcher who primarily uses narrative research methods and is interested more broadly in interpretive research methods. In her research, Dr. Kellam is broadly interested in developing critical understandings of the culture of engineering education and, especially, the experiences of underrepresented undergraduate engineering students and engineering educators. In addition to teaching undergraduate engineering courses and a graduate course on entrepreneurship, she also enjoys teaching qualitative research methods in engineering education in the Engineering Education Systems and Design PhD program at ASU. She is deputy editor of the Journal of Engineering Education.

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Abstract

Keywords: Graduate, Race/Ethnicity, Engineering

A defining feature of many U.S. doctoral engineering programs is their large proportion of international students. According to Weidman’s graduate socialization model, this diversity in nationality (and associated languages, cultures, etc.) can make interactions between students of different nations (including domestic students) more challenging. Supporting these claims are recent findings showing: 1) engineering doctoral students reported a relatively lower sense of belonging within their academic department compared to students in other disciplines, and 2) differences in sense of belonging were reported between domestic and international students.

Sense of belonging is a key indicator of a student’s academic integration and persistence intentions. It also serves as a measure of the perceived inclusiveness of an academic unit. Most research on sense of belonging in engineering education focuses on undergraduate students and rarely considers nationality.

This paper aims to address this gap and advance understanding around international doctoral students’ sense of belonging. Interviews of N = 8 doctoral students at four different doctoral granting institutions in different regions within the US will be conducted using the Critical Incident Technique. Interviews will focus on eliciting attributes of interpersonal interactions with peers and faculty that are perceived to be positive and supportive among international engineering doctoral students. Data currently being collected will be analyzed using thematic analysis. The full paper will provide results, with a focus on implications for practitioners interested in improving the experience of international engineering doctoral students.

Lee, E., & Bekki, J. M., & Carberry, A. R., & Kellam, N. N. (2019, April), Understanding International Engineering Doctoral Students’ Sense of Belonging Through Their Interpersonal Interactions in the Academic Community Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/31803

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