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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimer: 1072-8325
ISSN En ligne: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2018019206
pages 195-226

INVESTIGATING HOW UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS PERCEIVE CO-CURRICULAR SUPPORT IN ENGINEERING

Walter C. Lee
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 635 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
Holly M. Matusovich
Department of Engineering Education, Virginia Tech, 345 Signature Engineering Building, Blacksburg, Virginia, 24061, USA

RÉSUMÉ

The engineering education research and practice community needs further understanding of how students perceive engineering student support centers, which are the common sources of co-curricular support developed to attract and retain students from underrepresented groups. Student perception is important to understand because it has implications for how students respond to, and whether or not they engage in, student support centers. The purpose of this qualitative study was to further understanding of co-curricular support by comparing and contrasting the perceptions of students who were acquainted with, even if they did not engage with, an engineering student support center, such as a women in engineering program or minority engineering program. We conducted focus groups with a total of 67 students. We recruited students from women in engineering programs (n = 29), minority engineering programs (n = 14), and diversity in engineering programs (n = 24). We identified 7 themes that represent 11 perceived advantages and 4 perceived disadvantages, and noted differences across student support centers. Findings from this study will assist engineering colleges with offering suites of student interventions that positively influence the undergraduate experience while mitigating unintended negative impacts.


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