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Work in Progress: Building Career Goals and Boosting Self-efficacy in Engineering Students

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38126

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

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Sonia M. Bartolomei-Suarez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Sonia M. Bartolomei-Suarez is a Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM). She graduated with a BS in Industrial Engineering from UPRM (1983), a MSIE (1985) from Purdue University, and a PhD in Industrial Engineering (1996) from The Pennsylvania State University. Her teaching and research interests include: Discrete Event Simulation, Facilities Planning, Material Handling Systems, Women in Academia in STEM fields, Engineering in Education and Access to Post-Secondary Education. From August 2006 through February 2008, she was the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the College of Engineering. She was Co-Pi of the NSF’s UPRM ADVANCE IT Catalyst Project awarded during 2008. From 2008-2016, she was Co-PI of the USDE’s Puerto Rico College Access Challenge Grant Project. From 2015-2018, she was the Coordinator of the UPRM College of Engineering Recruitment, Retention and Distance Engineering Education Program (R2DEEP). Currently, she is Co-PI of the project "Recruiting, Retaining, and Engaging Academically Talented Students from Economically Disadvantaged Groups into a Pathway to Successful Engineering Careers," sponsored by NSF DUE.

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Carla Lopez del Puerto University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0334-7208

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Dr. Carla López del Puerto is a professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez (UPRM). She received her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Saint Louis University in 2009, M.S. in Construction Management from The University of Oklahoma in 2003 and B.S. in Architecture from Universidad de las Américas Puebla, México in 2000. Prior to joining UPRM, she was a designer and cost estimator for The Benham Companies, an instructor at Southern Illinois University and an assistant professor at Colorado State University. Her research agenda focuses on construction management research and construction education and training. She is currently principal investigator of the Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainability Education – Undergraduate Program (RISE-UP), a collaborative NSF funded project among three University of Puerto Rico (UPR) campuses to develop an interdisciplinary undergraduate program to educate students to design and build resilient and sustainable infrastructure. She is also co-principal investigator of “Education for Improving Resiliency of Coastal Infrastructure”, a project part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence.

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Pedro O. Quintero University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Pedro Quintero earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and an M.S .from that same institution. After spending nine years in the electronics industry, he joined the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, in 2008 as an Assistant Professor. He is now Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UPRM's Department of Mechanical Engineering.

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Luisa Guillemard University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Luisa Guillemard is a psychology professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. She has a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the Caribbean Center of Advanced Studies in Puerto Rico [today the Carlos Albizu University] and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University, post-graduate training in evaluation from The Evaluators Institute (TEI) at George Washington University and the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute. Besides teaching, she has worked as an evaluator in grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Currently she is the internal evaluator for the projects Recruiting, Retaining and Engaging Academically Talented Students from Economically Disadvantaged Groups into a Pathway to Successful Engineering Careers (PEARLS) and for Building Capacity at Collaborative Undergraduate STEM Program in Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure (RISE-UP). Both projects are funded by NSF.

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Aidsa I. Santiago-Román University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Dr. Aidsa I. Santiago-Román is a Professor and Chair in the Engineering Sciences and Materials (CIIM) Department at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM). Dr. Santiago earned a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering from UPRM and Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Dr. Santiago has over 20 years of experience in academia and has been successful in obtaining funding and publishing for various research projects. She's also the founder and advisor of the first ASEE student chapter in Puerto Rico.

Her research interests include investigating students' understanding of difficult concepts in engineering sciences, especially for underrepresented populations (Hispanic students). She has studied the effectiveness engineering concept inventories (Statics Concept Inventory - CATS and the Thermal and Transport Concept Inventory - TTCI) for diagnostic assessment and cultural differences among bilingual students. She has also contributed to the training and development of faculty in developing and evaluating various engineering curriculum and courses at UPRM, applying the outcome-based educational framework.

She has also incorporated theories on social cognitive career choices and student attrition mitigation to investigate the effectiveness of institutional interventions in increasing the retention and academic success of talented engineering students from economically disadvantaged families. She's also involved in a project that explores the relationship between the institutional policies at UPRM and faculty and graduate students' motivation to create good relationships between advisors and advisees.

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Manuel Rodriguez-Martinez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

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Dr. Manuel Rodriguez-Martinez is a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. His research interests focus on big data, deep learning, cloud computing, distributed databases, and mobile computing. He is the team leader for the Advanced Data Management Lab at UPRM. Dr. Rodriguez-Martinez is the recipient of a 2005 NSF CAREER Award.

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Manuel A. Jimenez University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez

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Dr. Jimenez is a professor at the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department in the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez (UPRM). He earned his B.S from Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1986, M.S. from Univ. of Puerto Rico Mayaguez in 1991, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1999. His current teaching and research interests include design, characterization, and rapid prototyping of information processing systems, embedded cyber-physical systems, and engineering education. He is the lead author of the textbook Introduction to Embedded Systems: Using Microcontrollers and the MSP430 (Springer 2014). From 2013 to 2018 served as Associate Dean of engineering at UPRM. He currently directs the Engineering PEARLS program at UPRM, a College-wide NSF funded initiative, and coordinates the Rapid Systems Prototyping and the Electronic Testing and Characterization Laboratories at UPRM. He is a member of ASEE and IEEE.

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Nayda G. Santiago University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6049-8782

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Nayda G. Santiago is professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (UPRM) where she teaches the Capstone Course in Computer Engineering. She received an BS in EE from the University of PR, Mayaguez in 1989, a MEng in EE from Cornell University in 1990, and a PhD in EE from Michigan State University in 2003. She leads the Southeast region of the Computing Alliance for Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI). Dr. Santiago is NCWIT academic alliance member, member of Henaac, SACNAS, IEEE, and ACM.

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Nelson Cardona-Martinez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1523-0960

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Nelson Cardona-Martínez is a Chemical Engineering Professor at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez. His research focuses on the development of catalytic materials and processes for the conversion of biomass derived feedstocks into valuable chemicals. He synergistically combines research, education and outreach to help create a diverse workforce in STEM fields.

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Oscar Marcelo Suarez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3797-4787

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Professor Oscar Marcelo Suarez joined the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez in 2000. A Fellow of ASM International, he is the Coordinator of the Materials Science and Engineering graduate program, the first of its kind in Puerto Rico. He is also the director of the university's Nanotechnology Center Phase II, which is supported by the National Science Foundation. Currently, his work focuses on aluminum alloys, metal matrix composites, and concrete modified with nanoparticles as well as biocomposites for dielectric applications and as biocides. More recently, through a grant from the US Dept. of Agriculture, he has been working on the structural and mechanical characterization of an invasive wood to Puerto Rico. Important components of his interests are education and outreach to underrepresented minorities.

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Abstract

This work in progress presents the development and implementation of and Individual Development Plan (IDP) for undergraduate engineering students. The IDP was designed and tailored as one of several strategies to increase retention and graduation rates for engineering students participating in the Program for Engineering Access, Retention, and LIATS Success (PEARLS). This program provides scholarships to low income, academically talented students (LIATS), and promotes their academic success and on-time graduation. A key element of PEARLS is a mentoring component where each student is assigned a faculty mentor from his or her own study program.  Faculty mentors are responsible of following-up students’ progress and for providing individual guidance and support to promote their professional growth.  The IDP is the major tool used by mentors to track students’ progress, to keep students focused on their goals, and for reviewing their progress.

Motivation is a key component for developing resilience and persistence. Research has demonstrated that having a plan improves the probability of success in proposed activities and goals included in such plan. In the case of an IDP, it increases students’ awareness of the necessary steps to achieve their academic goals, remain on track, and constantly assess their progress.

PEARLS students complete their IDP’s after completing a self-assessment questionnaire in which they identify their academic strengths and weaknesses in multiple areas considered important for academic success and professional practice. Self-assessment results are discussed with mentors and strategies to work with identified weaknesses. The IDP is a dynamic document which is revised, at least, yearly.

This paper presents the process of developing PEARLS IDP’s and students’ outcomes from participating in PEARLS. The IDP fosters students’ interest in research and professional experiences during their undergraduate program and as a product of the discussion and planning of possible experiences with mentees we have observed an increase in their participation in research, either in or off-campus, COOP, or internship experiences. The results from the first year of the PEARLS program shows that 76 out of the 90 undergraduate students participated voluntary in professional development activities not required by the program. Of these; 18% participated in COOP experiences, 2% participated of an internship, 14% conducted off-campus research and 58% in-campus research, and eight percent (8%) performed other services such as: special projects, community work, and volunteering. Students have recognized the IDP as a valuable tool for their academic growth and in their decision-making process. The PEARLS IDP is an adaptation of work done by researchers from the University of Florida, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, AAAS, and SACNAS.

Bartolomei-Suarez, S. M., & Lopez del Puerto, C., & Quintero, P. O., & Guillemard, L., & Santiago-Román, A. I., & Rodriguez-Martinez, M., & Jimenez, M. A., & Santiago, N. G., & Cardona-Martinez, N., & Suarez, O. M. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Building Career Goals and Boosting Self-efficacy in Engineering Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38126

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