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  1. In recent years, large numbers of international students are attending engineering schools in the US; however, more could be done by the schools to support the unique challenges these students face. This study analyzes five semi-structured interviews with international electrical and computer engineering students at Purdue University to identify the unique challenges they face due to their international status, how they persist despite the challenges, and what engineering schools can do to better support them and all students given these findings. Using a framework of student resistance, the theoretical thematic analysis found that international engineering students can struggle with language barriers and social isolation, and that these challenges are often made invisible in the environment of the school. These students most commonly persist by adapting or conforming to the domestic environment, either individually or collectively; they exhibit very few instances of resistance by our chosen definition. To better support international students, we recommend that engineering schools implement more active learning, collaborative learning, and multicultural and group communication education. These initiatives would also improve the experiences and education of all students, including underrepresented students. This article contributes to discussions about the definition and usage of student resistance as a framework formore »education research.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  2. In our NSF RFE sponsored research project, we have been investigating the intersection of three goals in engineering education: professional formation of students, an integrated sociotechnical perception of engineering, and increased diversity and inclusion. We approached this investigation into possible social change with design thinking. We engaged with faculty, staff, and students in a collaborative design process as part of a comparative study of two engineering departments – the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering (BME) – at Purdue University. Our project has been organized around the three phases of the design process (inspiration, ideation, and implementation), and embedded within the design process is a longitudinal, multiphase, mixed-methods study. During this third phase of the project, implementation, we have been both challenged and enabled by events and shifting conversations around the viral pandemic of disease and the widespread activism around racial injustice. In this paper, we provide an overview of the larger project’s previous analyses of the surveys and interview data from faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni in both ECE and BME which we have conducted. These analyses will provide insight on the indirect and/or longer-term impact on the school’s cultures andmore »on aspects that are more embedded in the schools and disciplines, as well as those that are more amenable to change. In addition, we describe how design processes and mindsets have and can be used to address complex issues in engineering education, and how this approach facilitated the working groups/committees that emerged in both BME and ECE as part of this project. We also describe the data we are collecting in the final year of the project to understand the impacts of this project, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attention to racial disparities on our research questions.« less
  3. Scholars of engineering education have acknowledged a need for greater connection between research and engineering teaching practice in order to see sustainable change in engineering schools. This study examines the contrast between STEM education research on the positive impact of faculty on diversity and inclusion and some engineering faculty’s lack of actual involvement with these issues. We examine the faculty of an electrical and computer engineering (ECE) department at Purdue University using Fishbein and Ajzen’s reasoned action model for behavior to determine factors in the department that influence faculty’s intention to make change for diversity and inclusion. We conducted interviews with ECE faculty about diversity, inclusion and department culture, and then an inductive thematic analysis organized around the reasoned action model. The major themes revealed that many faculty do not see involvement with diversity and inclusion as a norm in the department, and do not recognize their power to influence these issues. Our conclusions provide recommendations for engineering departments to meaningfully involve their faculty in improving diversity and inclusion.