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A Characterization of Engineering and Computer Science Undergraduate Participation in High-impact Educational Practices at Two Western Land-grant InstitutionsCurrently, substantial efforts are underway to improve the engagement and retention of engineering and computer science (E/CS) students in their academic programs. Student participation in specific activities known as High Impact Educational Practices (HIP) has been shown to improve student outcomes across a variety of degree fields. Thus, we suggest that understanding how and why E/CS students, especially those from historically underrepresented groups, participate in HIP is vital for supporting efforts aimed at improving E/CS student engagement and retention. The aim of the current study is to examine the participation of E/CS undergraduates enrolled at two western land-grant institutions (both institutions are predominantly white; one is an emerging Hispanic-serving institution) across five HIEP (i.e., global learning and study aboard internships, learning communities, service and community-based learning, and undergraduate research) that are offered outside of required E/CS curricula and are widely documented in the research literature. As part of a larger study, researchers developed an online questionnaire to explore student HIP participation and then surveyed E/CS students (n = 576) across both land-grant institutions. Subsequently, researchers will use survey results to inform the development of focus groups interview protocols. Focus group interviews will be conducted with purposefully selected E/CS students whomore »
Effects of High Impact Educational Practices on Engineering and Computer Science Student Participation, Persistence, and Success at Land Grant UniversitiesDespite efforts to attract and retain more students in engineering and computer science — particularly women and students from underrepresented groups — diversity within these educational programs and the technical workforce remains stubbornly low. Research shows that undergraduate retention, persistence, and success in college is affected by several factors, including sense of belonging, task value, positive student-faculty interactions, school connectedness, and student engagement , . Kuh  found that improvement in persistence, performance, and graduation for students in college were correlated to students’ level of participation in particular activities known as high impact educational practices (HIEP). HIEP include, among others, culminating experiences, learning communities, service learning, study abroad, and undergraduate research; Kuh  concluded that these activities may be effective at promoting overall student success. Kuh  and others  further hypothesized that participation in HIEP may especially benefit students from non-majority groups. Whether and how engineering and computer science students benefit from participating in HIEP and whether students from non-majority groups have access to HIEP activities, however, remain as questions to investigate. In this project, we examine engineering and computer science student participation in HIEP at two public land grant institutions. In this study, we seek to understand howmore »