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  1. The purpose of the project is to identify how to measure various types of institutional support as it pertains to underrepresented and underserved populations in colleges of engineering and science. We are grounding this investigation in the Model of Co-Curricular Support, a conceptual framework that emphasizes the breadth of assistance currently used to support undergraduate students in engineering and science. The results from our study will help prioritize the elements of institutional support that should appear somewhere in a college’s suite of support efforts to improve engineering and science learning environments and design effective programs, activities, and services. Our poster will present: 1) an overview of the instrument development process; 2) evaluation of the prototype for face and content validity from students and experts; and 3) instrument revision and data collection to determine test validity and reliability across varied institutional contexts. In evaluating the initial survey, we included multiple rounds of feedback from students and experts, receiving feedback from 46 participants (38 students, 8 administrators). We intentionally sampled for representation across engineering and science colleges; gender identity; race/ethnicity; international student status; and transfer student status. The instrument was deployed for the first time in Spring 2018 to the institutional projectmore »partners at three universities. It was completed by 722 students: 598 from University 1, 51 from University 2, and 123 from University 3. We tested the construct validity of these responses using a minimum residuals exploratory factor analysis and correlation. A preliminary data analysis shows evidence of differences in perception on types of support college of engineering and college of science students experience. The findings of this preliminary analysis were used to revise the instrument further prior to the next round of testing. Our target sample for the next instrument deployment is 2,000 students, so we will survey ~13,000 students based on a 15% anticipated response rate. Following data collection, we will use confirmatory factor analysis to continue establishing construct validity and report on the stability of constructs emerging from our piloting on a new student sample(s). We will also investigate differences across these constructs by subpopulations of students.« less
  2. While broadening participation is a national problem, to date, efforts tend to respond with local solutions. Though valuable, such efforts are insufficient and have only led to incremental progress. If the goal is wide-scale improvements, we argue that there is a need to take a step back and re-examine what has been done in terms of research and practice. Accordingly, the proposed work engages multiples sources to present a nationwide solution to a national problem and, hopefully, spark a change in the demographic trends of engineers and computer scientists—an area where progress has been stagnant. The purpose of this study is to (1) critically evaluate the research-to-practice cycle as it relates to broadening participation; and (2) set a national agenda for broadening the participation of African Americans in engineering and computer science that is informed by existing literature and subject matter experts. To address this purpose, our three-phase project entails the following: (1) a systematic review of the literature on barriers to participation and proposed solutions for each juncture of the education-to-workforce pathway; (2) interviews with subject-matter experts to discuss their professional experiences regarding broadening the participation of African Americans, and what can be done to gain momentum in thismore »regard; and (3) a Delphi study to reach consensus on the key issues, gaps in our understanding, significant questions, and breakdowns in the Innovation Cycle of Educational Practice and Research. This project started in January 2017 and is well underway. Our poster will present a summary of the results from Phase 1, our progress in Phase 2, and plans for Phase 3.« less
  3. This research paper describes the development of a critical incident-centered analysis methodology based on Schlossberg’s Transition Theory to explore transitions experienced by engineering education researchers as they begin new faculty positions. Understanding the transition experiences of scholars aiming to impact change within engineering education is important for identifying approaches to support the sustained success of these scholars at their institutions and within engineering education more broadly. To date, efforts to better prepare future faculty for academic roles have primarily focused on preparing them to be independent researchers, to teach undergraduate courses, and to support their ability to advance their career. Research of early career faculty is similarly limited in scope, focusing mostly on new faculty at research-exclusive universities or on faculty member’s teaching and research practices. To address this gap in the literature, our research team is examining the role of institutional context on the agency of early career engineering education faculty as it relates to facilitating change. As part of this larger project, the focus of this paper is on the integration of critical incident techniques and Schlossberg’s Transition Theory to create “incident timelines” that explore the transition of early career engineering education researchers into new faculty positions. Ourmore »paper will illustrate how this integration provided an effective methodology to: 1) explore a diverse set of transitions into faculty positions, 2) identify critical events that impact these transitions, 3) isolate strategies that supported the faculty members in different aspects of their transitions, and 4) examine connections between events and strategies over time and across faculty members’ transitions. Transition Theory provides a lens to explore how individuals identify and adapt based on transitions in their lives. An individual’s transition, according to Schlossberg, tends to include three phases: moving in, moving through, and moving out. Over the course of those phases, the individual’s experiences are influenced by the context of the transition, the characteristics of the individual such as their motivations and beliefs, the extent to which they have support, and the strategies they utilize. Given the complexity of a transition into a faculty position, it was necessary to determine the extent to which particular events and the relationship between events impacted a new faculty member’s experience. To accomplish this, we integrated a critical incident analysis to specifically investigate individual events that were considered significant to the overall transition leading to the development of an incident timeline. We applied our approach to monthly reflections of six new engineering faculty members from diverse institutional contexts who identify as engineering education researchers. The monthly reflections asked each participant to provide their impressions of the faculty role, in what ways they felt like a faculty member, and in what ways they did not. Through an iterative data analysis process, we developed initial incident timelines for each participant’s transition. Follow-up interviews with the participants allowed us to explore each event in more detail and provided an opportunity for reflection-on-action by the participant. These incidents were then further explored to distinguish strategies used and support received. Finally, we examined connections between events and strategies over time to identify overarching themes common to these types of faculty transitions. In this methods paper, we will demonstrate the usefulness of this variation of the critical incident approach for exploring complex professional transitions by highlighting the details of our incident timeline analysis.« less
  4. Engineering faculty are faced with a variety of challenges ranging from teaching responsibilities, navigating research, and negotiating service demands. Due to the nature of the emerging field of engineering education and the emphasis on education within the ASEE community, there is a need to develop methods to facilitate cross-institutional mentoring. While many institutions offer formal mentoring in some capacity, there are limitations and challenges associated with these support structures. Some common challenges are scheduling a time to meet, navigating institutional power dynamics, and identifying individuals with shared interests and goals. This work proposes best practices for the development of an innovative peer mentoring structure that accounts for shared commitment to the advancement of engineering education. This paper will provide insight for engineering education faculty who are currently transitioning into or are planning to pursue a career in academia in the future. We will describe a framework to create a virtual community for peer mentoring. The value of a virtual peer mentoring community is that it can provide support that may not be available within one’s institution and it minimizes the negative impacts that may be associated with institutional power dynamics. The best practices that we will describe are informed bymore »six early career engineering education faculty that developed and participated in a virtual community over the last two years. We will describe best practices in relation to identifying a shared vision, developing possible tangible outcomes, writing operating procedures for the group, selecting an appropriate platform for communication, and facilitating reflection and changes to practice.« less