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Title: Supporting factors in Native American engineering students’ pursuit of engineering careers
For Native American young people, paradoxical cultural pressure (i.e., pressure to do well academically while maintaining tribal identity; Komives et al., 2011), and a lack of academic preparation have been cited as barriers to their academic and career success (Jackson, Smith, & Hill, 2003); however, there is little research regarding the supports that these young people receive. This type of research is especially critical for careers where Native American students are underrepresented, such as in engineering (with Native Americans who comprise almost 2% of the U.S. population comprise only 0.4% of engineers and 0.2% of engineering faculty; NACME, 2014). To tease out differences in how Native American students are supported in their engineering career development compared to students from the dominant cultural group in engineering, we conducted a study with 50 Native American and 50 Caucasian American undergraduate and graduate engineering students. ANOVA’s showed that Caucasian American and Native American students had the same level of interest in pursuing an engineering career; however, Caucasian American students reported greater emotional and instrumental support from parents, school personnel, and peers for studying engineering. Results will be interpreted in light of how educational equity in areas of supporting Native American engineering students can more » be accomplished. This research was conducted by Emily Koithan, Morgan Schmitt-Morris, Yuqing Wang (Undergraduate Research Scholars [URS]), and Dr. Sherri Turner (Educational Psychology), and colleagues. « less
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University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development Research Day
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National Science Foundation
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