Asee peer logo

Work-In-Progress: What is engineering? First-year students’ preconceptions about their chosen profession

Download Paper |


2019 FYEE Conference


Penn State University , Pennsylvania

Publication Date

July 28, 2019

Start Date

July 28, 2019

End Date

July 30, 2019

Conference Session

M1B: WIP - Learning Experiences 2

Tagged Topic

FYEE Conference - Paper Submission

Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Brianna L Dorie Gonzaga University

visit author page

Brianna L. Dorie is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Gonzaga University responsible for the implementation of the first year engineering program. Her research centers around the formation of engineering thinking and broadening participation in engineering.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The formation of an engineering identity is a key indicator for persistence within academic and professional spaces. However, this formation is often multi-faceted and complex, prompting investigations to understand specifically how engineering students form their engineering identity within the constructs of the first-year experience. This exploratory qualitative study utilizes content analysis to analyze engineering preconceptions in a first-year course. Data was collected from a medium-sized private university located in the Pacific Northwest and consisted of essays from 543 first-year engineering students. Students’ preconceptions of engineering centered around five key thematic areas: knowledge, perception, impact, method and performance. Results from this analysis indicate that students come into engineering with a variety of different preconceptions about engineering.

Dorie, B. L. (2019, July), Work-In-Progress: What is engineering? First-year students’ preconceptions about their chosen profession Paper presented at 2019 FYEE Conference , Penn State University , Pennsylvania.

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: © 2019 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