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  1. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Background Students’ attitudinal beliefs related to how they see themselves in STEM have been a focal point of recent research, given their well-documented links to retention and persistence. These beliefs are most often assessed cross-sectionally, and as such, we lack a thorough understanding of how they may fluctuate over time. Using matched survey responses from undergraduate engineering students ( n = 278), we evaluate if, and to what extent, students’ engineering attitudinal beliefs (attainment value, utility value, self-efficacy, interest, and identity) change over a 1-year period. Further, we examine whether there are differences based on gender and student division, and then compare results between cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses to illustrate weaknesses in our current understanding of these constructs. Results Our study revealed inconsistencies between cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of the same dataset. Cross-sectional analyses indicated a significant difference by student division for engineering utility value and engineering interest, but no significant differences by gender for any variable. However, longitudinal analyses revealed statistically significant decreases in engineering utility value, engineering self-efficacy, and engineering interest for lower division students and significant decreases in engineering attainment value for upper division students over a one-year period. Further, longitudinal analyses revealed a gender gap in engineering self-efficacy for upper division students, where men reported higher means than women. Conclusions Our analyses make several contributions. First, we explore attitudinal differences by student division not previously documented. Second, by comparing across methodologies, we illustrate that different conclusions can be drawn from the same data. Since the literature around these variables is largely cross-sectional, our understanding of students’ engineering attitudes is limited. Our longitudinal analyses show variation in engineering attitudinal beliefs that are obscured when data is only examined cross-sectionally. These analyses revealed an overall downward trend within students for all beliefs that changed significantly—losses which may foreshadow attrition out of engineering. These findings provide an opportunity to introduce targeted interventions to build engineering utility value, engineering self-efficacy, and engineering interest for student groups whose means were lower than average. 
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  2. Abstract Background

    Retaining women and racially minoritized individuals in engineering programs has been a subject of widespread discussion and investigation. While the sense of belonging and its link to retention have been studied based on student characteristics, there is an absence of studies investigating the importance of students' social identities to their sense of belonging in engineering.

    Purpose/Hypothesis

    This study examines differences in race/ethnic identity centrality, gender identity centrality, and sense of belonging in engineering by subgroups of undergraduate engineering students at Hispanic‐Serving Institutions (HSIs). Subsequently, it examines the extent to which these identity centralities predict a sense of belonging in engineering for each subgroup.

    Design/Method

    Survey data was collected from 903 Latinx and 452 White undergraduate engineering students from seven HSIs across the continental United States. Multivariate analysis of variance and sequential multivariate linear regression were used to evaluate the research questions.

    Results

    Latinx students had higher identity centralities but a similar sense of belonging in the engineering community as White students. Latinos and Latinas had an equivalent sense of belonging in engineering, whereas White women were higher than White men. In the full models, race/ethnic identity centrality significantly, and positively predicted a sense of belonging in engineering for Latinos and White women. Gender identity centrality was not a significant predictor of a sense of belonging in engineering for either Latinx or White students.

    Conclusions

    Race/ethnic and gender identity centrality are differentially important to the sense of belonging in engineering for students at Hispanic‐Serving Institutions based on their group membership at the intersection of race and gender.

     
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  3. null (Ed.)
    This study investigates career intentions and students’ engineering attitudes in BME, with a focus on gender differences. Data from n = 716 undergraduate biomedical engineering students at a large public research institution in the United States were analyzed using hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis. Results revealed five clusters of intended post-graduation plans: Engineering Job and Graduate School, Any Job, Non-Engineering Job and Graduate School, Any Option, and Any Graduate School. Women were evenly distributed across clusters; there was no evidence of gendered career preferences. The main findings in regard to engineering attitudes reveal significant differences by cluster in interest, attainment value, utility value, and professional identity, but not in academic self-efficacy. Yet, within clusters the only gender differences were women’s lower engineering academic self-efficacy, interest and professional identity compared to men. Implications and areas of future research are discussed. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
  5. Abstract Background

    Despite many initiatives to improve graduate student and faculty diversity in engineering, there has been little or no change in the percentage of people from racially minoritized backgrounds in either of these groups.

    Purpose/Hypothesis

    The purpose of this paper is to counter the scarcity fallacy, in which institutions blame the “shortage” of qualified people from traditionally marginalized backgrounds for their own lack of representation, related to prospective PhD students and prospective faculty from traditionally marginalized groups. This study identifies the BS‐to‐PhD and PhD‐to‐tenure‐track‐faculty institutional pathways of Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino engineering doctorate recipients.

    Design/Method

    Using the US Survey of Earned Doctorates, we tracked the BS‐to‐PhD institutional pathways of 3952 Black/African American and 5732 Hispanic/Latino engineering PhD graduates. We also used the Survey of Doctorate Recipients to track the PhD‐to‐tenure‐track faculty pathways of 104 Black/African American and 211 Hispanic/Latino faculty.

    Results

    The majority of Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino PhD graduates in this study did not earn their BS degrees from Top 25 institutions, but rather from Not Top 25, non‐US, and minority‐serving institutions. The results also show the relatively small proportion of PhD earners and faculty members who move into highly ranked institutions after earning a bachelor's degree from outside this set of institutions.

    Conclusions

    The findings of this study have important implications for graduate student and faculty recruitment by illustrating that recruitment from a narrow range of institutions (i.e., Top 25 institutions) is unlikely to result in increased diversity among racially minoritized PhDs and faculty in engineering.

     
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