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  1. Engineers and computer scientists with advanced degrees play a critical role in addressing complex societal challenges while serving as role models for undergraduate students pursuing degrees in these areas. However, the results of a literature map, conducted as a part of a larger study, suggest that we tend to focus on undergraduate education when discussing how to diversify the talent pool. This paper presents the findings from a systematic literature review on the barriers to graduate-level participation in engineering as experienced by African Americans, one of the most underrepresented groups. Twenty-two articles resulted from the search, 11 passing the qualitymore »check. The analysis focused on synthesizing themes surrounding how researchers study the problem, barriers to participation, and recommendations for addressing them. Results highlight that investigators tend to focus on three topic areas: (1) Student Identity, (2) Recruitment and Persistence, and (3) Students’ Perceptions of Graduate School. This synthesis presents the current state of the literature on broadening participation of African American engineering graduate students and highlights opportunities for future inquiries.« less
  2. The overarching goal of this project is to critically evaluate the research-to-practice cycle as it relates to broadening participation of African Americans in engineering and computer science, and develop a national agenda grounded in existing literature and subject-matter experts’ perspectives. To address this purpose, our research team is carrying out a three-phased project that includes systematically reviewing the literature, interviewing subject-matter experts, and conducting a Delphi study, aiming to reach consensus on the key issues and gaps in our understanding. Combined, these efforts will reveal significant questions and areas of opportunity to enhance the relationship between research and practice inmore »this area. We are currently in Year 2 of the project. In addition to providing an overview of the project to date, this paper presents salient findings that emerged from a systematic literature review nineteen articles on barriers to African American’s participation in the engineering and CS workforce (i.e., academia, industry, and government). Although the barriers manifest in unique ways based on the workplace context, they can be organized by the three major paradigms that usually shape broadening participation literature as either pipeline barriers, ecosystem barriers, and/or pathway barriers. Most of the studies in this review revealed barriers experiences by individuals within the work environment (i.e., ecosystem barriers). This paper concludes with possible directions for future research that stem from gaps in the literature, and recommendations for addressing existing challenges.« less
  3. The purpose of this work-in-progress paper is to share insights from current efforts to develop and test the validity of an instrument to measure undergraduate students’ perceived support in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The development and refinement of our survey instrument ultimately functions to extend, operationalize, and empirically test the Model of Co-curricular Support (MCCS). The MCCS is a conceptual framework of student support that demonstrates the breadth of assistance currently used to support undergraduate students in STEM, particularly those from underrepresented groups. We are currently gathering validity evidence for an instrument that evaluates the extent to whichmore »colleges of engineering and science offer supportive environments. To date, exploratory factor analysis and correlation for construct validity have helped us develop 14 constructs for student support in STEM. Future work will focus on modeling relationships between these constructs and student outcomes, providing the explanatory power needed to explain empirically how co-curricular supports contribute to different forms of student success in STEM. We hope that operationalizing the MCCS through this survey will shift how we conceptualize and offer student support, enabling college administrators and student support practitioners to evaluate their portfolio of student support efforts.« less
  4. Alongside the continued evolution of the field of engineering education, the number of early career faculty members who identify as members of the discipline continues to increase. This growth has resulted in a new wave of roles, titles, and experiences for engineering education researchers, many of which have yet to be explored and understood. To address this gap, our research team is investigating the ways in which early career engineering education faculty are able to achieve impact in their current roles. Our aim is to provide insights on the ways in which these researchers can have new and evolving formsmore »of impact within the engineering education field. The work presented herein explores the transition experiences of our research team, consisting of six early-career faculty, and the ways in which we experience agency at the individual, institutional, and field and societal levels. Doing so is necessary to consider the diverse backgrounds, visions, goals, plans, and commitments of early career faculty members. Guided by two qualitative research methodologies: collaborative inquiry and collaborative autoethnography, we are able to explore our lived experiences and respective academic cultures through iterative cycles of reflection and action towards agency. The poster presented will provide an update on our NSF RFE work through Phase 1 of our two phase investigation. Thus far the investigation has involved analysis of our reflections from the first two years of our faculty roles to identify critical incidents within the early career transition and development of our identities as faculty members. Additionally, we have collected reflective data to understand each of our goals, relevant aspects of our identity and desired areas of impact. Analysis of the transition has resulted in new insights on the aspects of transition, focusing on types of impactful situations, and the supports and strategies that are utilized. Analysis has begun to explore the role of identity on each members desired areas of impact and their ability to have impact. Data will also be presented from a survey of near peers, providing insight into the ways in which each early career engineering education faculty believe they are able to and desire to have impact in their current position. The collective analysis around the transition into a faculty role, strategic actions of new faculty, desired impact areas, and faculty identity will play a role in the development of our conceptual model of early career faculty agency. Additionally, this analysis provides the groundwork for phase two of our study, where we will seek to place the experiences of our group within the context of the larger community of early career engineering education faculty.« less
  5. Student support programs within colleges of engineering often aim to assist students during their transition from high school to college. While studies of this transition can characterize experiences that could support the design of these support programs, research commonly focuses on the broader student population, where engineering students are often the minority. To further improve student support programs in engineering, particularly those designed for students from traditionally underrepresented populations, additional research is needed to understand the transitional experiences of first-year engineering students. The purpose of this paper is to explore the applicability of a theoretical framework from adult development (i.e.,more »Schlossberg’s Transition Theory) to examine the high school-to-college transition of engineering students from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. In the work-in-progress paper, we describe the theoretical constructs that appear most applicable in this context as we begin coding data from a series of three interviews with each participant. Our results will advance the engineering education community’s understanding of the applicability of Transition Theory for examining the transitions of students into engineering and inform future work.« less
  6. Several national reports convey the need for better data on the participation of underrepresented groups in engineering. The purpose of this paper is to 1) catalogue data sources that collect STEM-related information at a national level, and 2) critique their usefulness as it relates to informing efforts aimed at broadening participation of underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in engineering. To this end, we identified and reviewed multiple STEM-related data sources published by Child Trends, American Society of Engineering Education, National Center for Education Statistics, and the National Science Foundation. A critical look across these data sources revealed important themes related to reportingmore »practices. While data at the compulsory education level related to preparedness via math and science performance indicators, data focused on higher education and workforce segments related to participation via overall numbers (e.g., degrees award). Data on gender and race intersections were largely missing. The implications of this study highlight the ways that publicly available data sources can be improved through more thorough, systematic collection, publication, and disaggregation of data.« less
  7. This “work in progress” showcases the methodological processes underway in Phase II of a three-part study. In its entirety, the study aims to (1) critically assess and evaluate the current research-to-practice cycle as it relates to participation and success of African Americans in engineering and computer science, and (2) set a national agenda for broadening the participation of African Americans in these two fields. Phase II of this study consists of semi-structured interviews with approximately 60 subject-matter experts from the fields of K-12 education, undergraduate education, graduate education, and the engineering and computing workforce. This paper discusses the following processes:more »a) participant recruitment, screening, and selection, as well as, b) protocol development and piloting. Insights about our methodological approaches might be useful to others developing research designs intended to capture the perspectives of various stakeholders associated with similarly complex and multifaceted issues.« less
  8. Student-retention theories traditionally focus on institutional retention, even though efforts to support students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occur at the college level. This study bridges this gap between research and practice by extending and empirically testing the Model of Co-Curricular Support (MCCS), which specifically focuses on supporting and retaining underrepresented groups in STEM. The MCCS is a student-retention model that demonstrates the breadth of assistance currently used to support undergraduate students in STEM, particularly those from underrepresented groups. The aim of this exploratory research is to develop and validate a survey instrument grounded in the MCCS thatmore »can be used by college administrators and student-support practitioners to assess the magnitude of institutional support received by undergraduate students in STEM. To date, such an instrument does not exist. Our poster will present a summary of the instrument development process that has occurred to date. We are developing the survey following best practices outlined in the literature. We are clearly defining the construct of interest and target population; reviewing related tests; developing the prototype of the survey instrument; evaluating the prototype for face and content validity from students and experts; revising and testing based on suggestion; and collecting data to determine test validity and reliability across four institutional contexts. Our institutional sample sites were purposefully selected because of their large size and diversity with respect to undergraduates in STEM. 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. Our study will provide scientific evidence that STEM researchers, educators, administrators, and policy makers need to make informed decisions to improve STEM learning environments and design effective programs, activities, and services.« less
  9. Over the last 40 years, more than 25 national reports have been published focused on broadening participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Although scholarly literature oftentimes serves as one source of information on how to move forward, national reports—produced by organizations, such as the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and committees, such as the Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE)—are an underutilized source of insights. This paper presents the results of a quasi-umbrella review of 29 national reports published during 1974–2016. The reports in this analysis included 134more »unique recommendations, which were synthesized into four themes, broadly labeled: (1) Practices & Policies, (2) Culture & Climate, (3) Information & Knowledge, and (4) Investments & Commitments. These recommendations have implications for a wide range of stakeholders interested in addressing this longstanding problem, and the findings of this study provide a historical and policy perspective that is useful for informing next steps that will ideally lead to the forms of progress that have been long awaited.« less
  10. This work-in-progress paper presents emerging results from a research study aiming to develop and gather validity evidence for an instrument that can be used by college administrators and student-support practitioners to assess the magnitude of undergraduate students’ perceived institutional support received in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Our goal is to provide stakeholders with a validated tool to diagnose areas of strength and opportunities to better support students, particularly those from underserved populations. Over the past year, we have engaged in a systematic process of instrument development. We began by developing a prototype based on the newly developed Modelmore »of Co-Curricular Support (MCCS). We refined it by reviewing existing literature and instruments germane to student support, and soliciting stakeholder feedback. During the spring of 2018, we distributed the instrument to STEM undergraduate students at three U.S. institutions. In this paper, we report our process of instrument development and preliminary results. These results will inform the next revision of our instrument, ultimately providing the STEM education community with novel and theory-based ways to measure students’ perceptions of support in STEM.« less