Asee peer logo

What's Next? From Analysis to Action

Download Paper |

Conference

2021 CoNECD

Location

Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day

Publication Date

January 24, 2021

Start Date

January 24, 2021

End Date

January 28, 2021

Conference Session

CoNECD Session: Day 3 Slot 2 - Technical Session 4

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Submissions

Page Count

34

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36139

Download Count

18

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Agnieszka Miguel Seattle University

visit author page

Agnieszka Miguel received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2001 from the University of Washington, and MSEE and BSEE from Florida Atlantic University in 1996 and 1994. Dr. Miguel's professional interests involve image processing, machine learning, and engineering education especially active learning, diversity, equity, and inclusion, retention, and recruitment. Her teaching interests include MATLAB, circuits, linear systems, and digital image processing. She is an ASEE Fellow and a member of the IEEE, SWE, and Tau Beta Pi.
Currently, Dr. Miguel is the ASEE First Vice President and Vice President for External Relations which gives her a seat on the ASEE Board of Directors. Dr. Miguel has held several other officer positions across the ASEE including: Professional Interest Council I Chair, Division Chair and Program Chair of the ECE and New Engineering Educators Divisions, and ASEE Campus Representative. Dr. Miguel is also a member-at-large of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) Board of Directors. She has been a member of the ECEDHA Annual Conference Program Committee since 2013.

visit author page

biography

J. McLean Sloughter Seattle University

visit author page

J. McLean Sloughter is an associate professor of mathematics at Seattle University. He completed his PhD in Statistics from the University of Washington. His research interests include statistical forecasting and modeling, energy poverty, mathematical pedagogy, and diversity in STEM.

visit author page

biography

Jennifer M. Dorsey University of Texas at Austin

visit author page

Jennifer works as an educational research consultant in addition to her work as a Senior Research Analyst at the Charles A. Dana Center, a grant funded group at the University of Texas at Austin. Jennifer received her doctorate in the Culture, Community, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her main areas of study were qualitative research, youth and the media, and youth understanding of difference and diversity. Prior to receiving her doctorate at Harvard, Jennifer was a middle school English teacher in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles for six years.

visit author page

biography

Rebecca Hartley Seattle University

biography

Frank J. Shih Seattle University

visit author page

Dr. Shih teaches junior level required courses and junior/senior electives in materials science, structural mechanics, and mechanical design. His research focuses on applied mechanics and failure issues in composite and other advanced materials used in aerospace and biomedical applications.

visit author page

biography

Joy Crevier Seattle University

visit author page

Senior Academic Advisor

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

This paper describes how data-driven examination of barriers to successful completion of undergraduate engineering degrees amongst female-identifying and underrepresented minority (URM) students at XYZ University has shaped the development of new policies and programs within the college. This study is a continuation of a project which began with analysis of graduation data to identify factors associated with a student’s successfully completing a degree within engineering. The was followed by a survey to better understand the experiences of students from underrepresented or marginalized groups. In this paper, we first present the results of focus groups conducted with students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences such as transfer students, female-identifying students, URM women, URM men, international students, and students who have either switched out of an engineering program or have a GPA that puts them at risk to not complete an engineering degree. In analyzing the results of the survey and the focus groups, we identified two primary trends that inform our new programs. First, students from underrepresented and marginalized groups are more likely to seek out opportunities for community within their degree programs. Second, students from these populations reported a culture within the engineering and computer science programs that can feel unwelcoming and at times hostile. Results from this study were presented to faculty and staff at a college-wide meeting. This was followed by a series of activities in which faculty and staff brainstormed ideas for how we could better support students from underrepresented and marginalized groups, with a focus on six categories: 1) adaptation and integration into academic life, 2) student sense of belonging, 3) student preparedness upon admission, 4) student professional development, 5) faculty/staff professional development, and 6) college culture of diversity and inclusion. Utilizing both the data collected from students and the results of the faculty & staff brainstorming activity, a number of new programs have been introduced. They include: • training workshops on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for both students and faculty/staff, • community building events during new student summer orientation, • a summer online community for new students in the College of Science and Engineering, • DEI Student Ambassadors program, • syllabus statements on inclusion, and • a summer reading group for faculty and staff. We have facilitated a number of workshops on DEI. Part of this has been to leverage outside expertise. We have arranged for faculty and staff to participate in seminars offered by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), with topics such as designing an inclusive classroom and Safe Zone Workshops. We have brought in an outside expert to hold workshops for both students and for faculty & staff on microaggressions. In addition, we have designed a bystander intervention workshop that can be run internally for faculty and staff. The workshop starts with a short introduction to core DEI concepts. Then participants are divided into small teams to brainstorm how to respond to scenarios involving microaggressions. The workshop ends with each group reporting about their conversations and general discussion of all participants. We have run this workshop twice, once with the faculty and staff members of our college’s Committee for DEI, and once at a meeting for faculty and staff in one of the departments in our college. Future workshops will be offered both in department meetings and as stand-alone events for any faculty and staff in the college. Every summer, the university organizes several orientation events for new students. Students and their families come to campus for two days of informational sessions, tours, and discussions. This past summer, we organized sessions aimed at building a supportive community for new students in our college. As the beginning of each session, two faculty members and a professional advisor divided students into groups based on their majors. After introductions, each group discussed and wrote down their biggest fears about their first year in college and what they are looking forward to. Then, the students were sent on a scavenger hunt throughout the buildings where their major departments are located. Groups that completed their tasks first were given prizes. The session concluded with the facilitators addressing students’ biggest fears about their first year in college. Following these events, we organized an online community for new students in our college. About one thid of incoming students participated in all or some of the nine online activities. The activities included games, trivia, self-introduction, getting to know their fellow students in their majors, their hometowns, and their dormitories. There were discussion topics and useful information posted such as how to be successful as a first-year student, best transportation options for getting around the city, and lists of best restaurants near the university. Students who participated in the summer orientation events and the online community felt that these initiatives helped them make meaningful connections with other students in their major. In March of 2020, we hired a team of students to serve as DEI ambassadors for the college. They were tasked with developing plans for student-centered DEI events, and to provide a student voice in the college’s DEI committee. With the transition to remote instruction due to the coronavirus, their planned activities were put on hold. They shifted their focus to addressing how remote instruction might disproportionally impact students from underrepresented and marginalized populations. They organized a virtual town hall for students to discuss with faculty and staff what successes and struggles they were encountering during remote learning. Faculty were able to shift some practices to better support students, and to think about how to make remote or online classes in the future more accessible and inclusive. The DEI ambassadors also worked with us to design a survey to examine differences in remote learning experiences for students from marginalized and underrepresented populations. The timeframe of IRB approval was such that this survey could not be administered during the spring, but will hopefully be approved to use if remote learning continues in some form in the fall of 2020. A sample syllabus statement on inclusion was written and made available to faculty. Multiple departments have chosen to make it a standard part of their syllabi, and individual faculty in other departments have included it as well. In addition to outlining general principles of inclusion within the classroom, the statement provides students with specific links to resources at the university that are available to them to report incidences of bias and discrimination. Anecdotally, faculty have reported hearing from students that these statements make them feel safer and more supported in raising concerns that they have around diversity, equity, and inclusion. In response to a growing faculty & staff interest in better understanding DEI issues, we organized a reading & discussion group for the summer of 2020. Virtual meetings are being held to discuss articles, books, and videos related to DEI, along with online message boards for asynchronous discussion. In these discussions, an emphasis is placed on how the ideas in the readings can be turned into specific actions within the college. The paper gives more details about each of the above mentioned initiatives. We conclude the paper with a reflection on how we can improve our community building events and the online community and describe our future support services for underrepresented students.

Miguel, A., & Sloughter, J. M., & Dorsey, J. M., & Hartley, R., & Shih, F. J., & Crevier, J. (2021, January), What's Next? From Analysis to Action Paper presented at 2021 CoNECD, Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day . https://peer.asee.org/36139

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: © 2021 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