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Effects of High Impact Educational Practices on Engineering and Computer Science Student Participation, Persistence, and Success at Land Grant Universities – Year 2The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce contributes to the U.S. economy by supporting 67% of jobs and 69% of the gross domestic product . Currently, there is an increased demand for engineering and computer science (E/CS) professionals, particularly those from underrepresented (e.g., gender, racial, ethnic) and underserved (socio-economic, geographically isolated) groups who bring diversity of thought and experience to the national E/CS workforce . Correspondingly, educational institutions are called upon to develop capabilities to attract, engage, and retain students from these diverse backgrounds in E/CS programs of study. To encourage and enable diverse students to opt into and persist within E/CS programs of study, there is a critical need to engage students in supportive and enriching opportunities from which to learn and grow. The importance of student engagement for promoting student growth and development has been researched to such an extent that its utility is widely agreed upon . Importantly, it has been shown that both academic and extracurricular aspects of a student’s learning processes are characterized by engagement . High Impact Educational Practices (HIP) provide useful opportunities for deep student engagement and, thus, positively influence student retention and persistence . Kuh  identified eleven curricular and extracurricularmore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023
A Characterization of Engineering and Computer Science Undergraduate Participation in High-impact Educational Practices at Two Western Land-grant InstitutionsCurrently, substantial efforts are underway to improve the engagement and retention of engineering and computer science (E/CS) students in their academic programs. Student participation in specific activities known as High Impact Educational Practices (HIP) has been shown to improve student outcomes across a variety of degree fields. Thus, we suggest that understanding how and why E/CS students, especially those from historically underrepresented groups, participate in HIP is vital for supporting efforts aimed at improving E/CS student engagement and retention. The aim of the current study is to examine the participation of E/CS undergraduates enrolled at two western land-grant institutions (both institutions are predominantly white; one is an emerging Hispanic-serving institution) across five HIEP (i.e., global learning and study aboard internships, learning communities, service and community-based learning, and undergraduate research) that are offered outside of required E/CS curricula and are widely documented in the research literature. As part of a larger study, researchers developed an online questionnaire to explore student HIP participation and then surveyed E/CS students (n = 576) across both land-grant institutions. Subsequently, researchers will use survey results to inform the development of focus groups interview protocols. Focus group interviews will be conducted with purposefully selected E/CS students whomore »
Insights Gathered from the National Survey of Student Education (NSSE) About Engineering/Computer Science Participation in High-impact Educational Practices at Two Western Land-grant InstitutionsStudent engagement, especially among Engineering and Computer science majors (E/CS), has been a priority for researchers. Although considerable efforts have been made to improve college students' engagement and interest, underrepresented minority groups and first-generation students are still at risk of dropping out of engineering majors due to lack of inclusiveness, motivation, and other related factors. According to Kuh (2008), student participation in High-Impact Educational Practices (HIEP) is correlated with student outcomes such as persistence, performance, achievement, and intent to complete their current major. The present study reviews the existing National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE, 2012, 2017) data from two western land-grant universities to fully capture participation through the survey of first-year students and seniors (N = 674). The HIEP considered include service-learning, learning communities, research with faculty, internship or field experience, study abroad, and culminating senior experience. These practices are designed to encourage meaningful interactions between faculty and students, foster collaboration with students within different demographics groups, and facilitate learning outside the classroom. Insights were gleaned from how the students interacted with HIEP based on special characteristics such as sex, race, age, enrollment status, and residence. The purpose of the present study is to examine the extent to whichmore »
Over the years, researchers have found that student engagement facilitates desired academic success outcomes for college undergraduate students. Much research on student engagement has focused on academic tasks and classroom context. High impact engagement practices (HIEP) have been shown to be effective for undergraduate student academic success. However, less is known about the effects of HIEP specifically on engineering and computer science (E/CS) student outcomes. Given the high attrition rates for E/CS students, student involvement in HIEP could be effective in improving student outcomes for E/CS students, including those from various underrepresented groups. More generally, student participation in specific HIEP activities has been shown to shape their everyday experiences in school, both academically and socially. Hence, the primary goal of this study is to examine the factors that predict academic success in E/CS using multiple regression analysis. Specifically, this study seeks to understand the effects of high impact engagement practices (HIEP), coursework enjoyability, confidence at completing a degree on academic success of the underrepresented and nontraditional E/CS students. We used exploratory factor analyses to derive “academic success” variable from five items that sought to measure how students persevere to attain academic goals. A secondary goal of the present study ismore »
Effects of High Impact Educational Practices on Engineering and Computer Science Student Participation, Persistence, and Success at Land Grant UniversitiesDespite efforts to attract and retain more students in engineering and computer science — particularly women and students from underrepresented groups — diversity within these educational programs and the technical workforce remains stubbornly low. Research shows that undergraduate retention, persistence, and success in college is affected by several factors, including sense of belonging, task value, positive student-faculty interactions, school connectedness, and student engagement , . Kuh  found that improvement in persistence, performance, and graduation for students in college were correlated to students’ level of participation in particular activities known as high impact educational practices (HIEP). HIEP include, among others, culminating experiences, learning communities, service learning, study abroad, and undergraduate research; Kuh  concluded that these activities may be effective at promoting overall student success. Kuh  and others  further hypothesized that participation in HIEP may especially benefit students from non-majority groups. Whether and how engineering and computer science students benefit from participating in HIEP and whether students from non-majority groups have access to HIEP activities, however, remain as questions to investigate. In this project, we examine engineering and computer science student participation in HIEP at two public land grant institutions. In this study, we seek to understand howmore »