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Title: Investigating the Impact of Engineering Identity, Belonging, and Career Commitment on Early Postsecondary Outcomes
This work in progress paper describes initial findings from a multi-cohort, longitudinal study designed to investigate engineering identity development and the role it plays in postsecondary engineering students’ commitment to the field and educational persistence. Although engineering identity is often considered an important contributing factor to educational and occupational persistence, there are few quantitative studies that directly examine this link. This study aims to address this gap and contribute to a better understanding of how we may foster engineering identity and help support students in their educational trajectories. To capture engineering identity, we use survey questions developed and validated in previous research to measure three scientific identity concepts: interest, recognition by self and others, and perceptions of competence and performance in engineering. Drawing on additional concepts in the literature, we also include measures of sense of belonging and commitment to an engineering career. In the spring semester 2019, a baseline survey for our first cohort was administered to 179 early career, engineering students across three public postsecondary Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the Southwest United States. A little more than half of the respondents (N=93) were attending a traditional 4-year university while the remainder (N=86) were attending community college at the time more » of the survey. Almost 70% of the respondents identified as Latinx, approximately 30% identified as female, and about one-third reported that they were first generation college students. To examine whether students with higher engineering identity, sense of belonging and career commitment are more likely to persist into their second year and have higher college GPAs, institutional enrollment and achievement data were obtained for all survey participants in our first cohort. Logistic and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression were used to test for significant associations, controlling for demographic factors. Preliminary findings suggest that engineering students’ sense of belonging to the field may be especially important. « less
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ASEE Annual Meeting 2020
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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