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Title: CAREER: Testing the Performance of Outcome Measures for LGBTQ STEM Students and their Peers
The purpose of this NSF CAREER project is to explore the participation of LGBTQ students in STEM fields. LGBTQ students leave engineering and other STEM majors and careers at higher rates than their heterosexual, cisgender peers, and the climate within these fields is a contributing factor to this difference in attrition. In order to develop a diverse engineering workforce and adequately prepare the next generation of engineers and other STEM professionals, engineering educators and departments must address inequities such as these to ensure broad participation. This purpose of this poster is to highlight progress toward meeting the first research aim of the overall project, to examine the social networks and related STEM outcomes of LGBTQ students. The project comprises three primary research aims, which also include future work comparing STEM degree completion rates between LGBTQ students and their cisgender, heterosexual peers, and exploring the intersection of STEM discipline-based identity (e.g., engineering identity, science identity) with sexual and gender identity. This project stands to improve our understanding of how to broaden participation in engineering and other STEM fields by pursuing robust research efforts that illuminate the ways sexual and gender identity shape trajectories into, through, and out of STEM. Over the past year of the project, we have accomplished developing and administering a survey to college students nationally. We administered the survey at two universities in Spring 2022 followed by a third in Fall 2022, and administration will conclude at two more in Spring 2023.The survey itself uses an egocentric social network analysis approach to gather data on the characteristics of a subset of students’ social networks, measures of several affective outcomes known to lead to academic persistence, and data on students’ college experiences and personal demographics. For this poster, we present our work testing how well the outcome measures performed in the survey instrument. Overall, our dataset as collected to date includes 404 students who completed the survey. Of these students, over half were women (58.2%), about a quarter were men (28.1%), and 8.9% were nonbinary, genderqueer, or gender nonconforming. In terms of sexual identity, 38.8% of were heterosexual, 30.1% were bisexual or pansexual, 14.4% were gay or lesbian, and 6.5% were asexual. Our survey measured three affective outcomes: sense of belonging in one’s major, commitment to one’s major, and science and engineering identity. Reliability testing and factor analysis demonstrated that our data performed well in replicating the factor structure of our measures, and content validity testing demonstrated these measures related as expected with other variables in the dataset.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
American Society for Engineering Education
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 2023 ASEE National Conference and Exhibition
Medium: X
Baltimore, MD
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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