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Work in Progress: Survey Development of the Influence of Engineering Students’ Extracurricular Involvement on Career Aspirations and Professional Development

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Degree Pathways and Cocurricular Experiences

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Beata Johnson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Beata Johnson is an Engineering Education Ph.D. student at Purdue University and recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She received her BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. Her research interests include extracurricular and experiential learning in engineering education, students' pathways through engineering education, and transition to the workforce.

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Joyce B. Main Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Joyce B. Main is Associate Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. degree in Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy from Cornell University. Dr. Main examines student academic pathways and transitions to the workforce in science and engineering. She was a recipient of the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education Educational Research and Methods Division Apprentice Faculty Award, the 2015 Frontiers in Education Faculty Fellow Award, and the 2019 Betty Vetter Award for Research from WEPAN. In 2017, Dr. Main received a National Science Foundation CAREER award to examine the longitudinal career pathways of engineering PhDs.

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This work in progress paper presents the design of a study developed to identify the influence of engineering students’ extracurricular involvement on their career aspirations and professional development. This study investigates how students’ extracurricular involvement influences their career certainty and confidence in job preparation, with emphasis on examining the types of involvement and specific aspects of involvement that lead to these outcomes. The study will be conducted longitudinally over three years with undergraduate engineering students at a single institution to examine the influence of extracurricular involvement over time and the pathways students pursue through undergraduate engineering in relation to their career goals. Research findings extend the literature by providing a longitudinal examination of how students’ involvement and career aspirations evolve over their undergraduate years, providing opportunities to identify mechanisms of influence and potential causal effects. This research extends the literature by connecting student organization involvement to career aspirations and preparation, offering university stakeholders information to develop interventions to help students in their transition to the workforce.

Johnson, B., & Main, J. B. (2020, June), Work in Progress: Survey Development of the Influence of Engineering Students’ Extracurricular Involvement on Career Aspirations and Professional Development Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35688

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