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  1. One of the pivotal goals in engineering education is to broaden participation of different minorities. An overlooked barrier yet to be explored is how hidden curriculum and its connected constructs may impede this goal. Hidden curriculum (HC) refers to the unwritten, unofficial, and often unintended assumptions, lessons, values, beliefs, attitudes, and perspectives in engineering. This paper will present the development and assessment of a mixed-method vignette survey instrument to evaluate the responses of current engineering students and faculty when exposed to several examples of hidden curriculum. Results from 153 engineering students and faculty across the United States and Puerto Rico were used to assess the survey sub-subscales (HC awareness, emotions, self-efficacy, and self-advocacy). Findings revealed Cronbach alpha coefficients of 0.70 (HC awareness), 0.73 (emotions), 0.91 (self-efficacy), and 0.91 (self-advocacy). The overall instrument had a reliability of 0.74. Alongside HC awareness, we found that among different axes of inequity, gender, role, and institution type are important elements that shaped the responses of these engineering populations.
  2. The relationship between graduate students and their research advisors within academia is pivotal to the development and success of the research enterprise. Graduate students rely on their faculty advisor to be a source of information, a departmental negotiator, and a role model to guide their professional and ethical behavior. However, if an advisor does not fully recognize a student’s best interest or they are unaware of how to be an “ethical mentor”, they may overlook the unique social capital of the graduate student (e.g., background, culture) and jeopardize the research relationship. This work aims to explore how women graduate students and faculties in science and engineering understand ethical mentoring within research relationships. Particularly, we are interested in understanding the six ethical mentoring principles suggested by Johnson (2016)—beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, fidelity, fairness, and privacy—all of which require an in-depth understanding for a productive research relationship. Qualitative analysis revealed that participants emphasized the principles of beneficence and fidelity, while principles of privacy and fairness were mentioned the least. Three key themes emerged from this analysis: (a) communication; (b) relative power between mentor and mentee; and (c) awareness (or a lack thereof) around implicit expectations within the research culture.
  3. The purpose of this Work In Progress (WIP) qualitative study was to explore how engineering graduate students respond to and value hidden curriculum that is revealed to them through video scenarios and six explicit statements. This WIP paper will focus on how awareness of resources, emotions, and confidence can spark an action for students to help themselves (i.e., self-advocacy) or help others (i.e., advocacy) specifically in regards to raising awareness and revealing hidden curriculum within engineering. The goals of this WIP paper are to: (a) explore how graduate students react to and value the hidden curriculum presented; and (b) determine what graduate students perceive is necessary to take action in regards to the issues presented in the video and hidden curriculum statements.
  4. The field of engineering education has adapted different theoretical frameworks from a wide range of disciplines to explore issues of education, diversity, and inclusion among others. The number of theoretical frameworks that explore these issues using a critical perspective has been increasing in the past few years. In this review of the literature, we present an analysis that draws from Freire’s principles of critical andragogy and pedagogy. Using a set of inclusion criteria, we selected 33 research articles that used critical theoretical frameworks as part of our systematic review of the literature. We argue that critical theoretical frameworks are necessary to develop anti-deficit approaches to engineering education research. We show how engineering education research could frame questions and guide research designs using critical theoretical frameworks for the purpose of liberation.