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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN On-line: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2018017998
pages 165-193

DEGREE ASPIRATIONS OF UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS AT THE INTERSECTION OF RACE/ETHNICITY AND GENDER

Elizabeth Litzler
Center for Evaluation and Research for STEM Equity, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Julie Lorah
Counseling and Educational Psychology, School of Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA

RESUMO

Although educational aspirations are a key part of models of educational and status attainment, they are currently not well understood. This study examines both aspirations for a master's degree as the highest degree and aspirations for a doctoral degree as the highest degree for undergraduate engineering students. A theoretical framework in which educational aspirations are a function of social constraints and individual agency was used. Multilevel logistic regression models were estimated to investigate the empirical relationship between covariates and student degree aspirations. Results suggest key differences in degree aspirations at the intersection of race and gender, with minority groups exhibiting higher aspirations. However, these differences may be specific to males and master's degree aspirations. In this study, White females are consistently lower than other groups on master's degree aspirations, a result which extends the literature by providing an example of how a gender effect can be moderated by race/ethnicity. In addition, results indicate that the processes for formation of highest degree aspirations for the Master's degree compared with PhD degree are likely different. The institutional variation in aspirations outcomes was relatively small when compared to the variation due to individual differences, implying that individual agency may play a much larger role than institutional constraints in aspirations formation.


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