Campus Units

Education, School of

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference

2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

2018

First Page

29529

Conference Title

2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference

Conference Date

April 29-May 2, 2018

City

Crystal City, VA

Abstract

Latinas are entering higher education at greater rates than before, yet they have disproportionately lower completion rates and engineering career representation than their peers (Excelencia in Education, 2015). In many cases, Latinas may have difficulty envisioning themselves as engineering, being validated by the engineering community, and continuing within the engineering disciplines (Carlone & Johnson, 2007; Lord & Camacho, 2013). Therefore, it is imperative that scholars examine the engineering identity development of Latinas during college.

This study was framed by two research questions: 1. How do Latinas in engineering develop their engineering identities during college? 2. How do other intersectional identities influence the development of an engineering identity during college?

This study utilized role identity theory, which addresses the meanings that individuals attach to the context of their social and cultural roles, to understand the engineering identity development of undergraduate Latinas (Stryker & Burke, 2000). The study utilized a phenomenological approach to examine lived experiences of 5 undergraduate Latinas majoring in engineering at a tier-one predominantly white university. Phenomenology allowed for exploring experiences in depth and providing rich detail of meaning making and “essence” (Moustakas, 1994). Each student participated in two one-hour, semi-structured face-to-face interviews.

This study found that engineering identity for Latina students is formed and supported through interactions and involvement with individuals and groups outside normal classroom and laboratory activities. The five Latina participants named their families and campus organizations focused on women in engineering as important sources of support as they pursued their education. Further, this study found that Latinas in engineering encounter tension between their engineering identities and other identities such as their gender and racial/ethnic identities. By understanding the process of professional identity development and its interactions with other personal identities, researchers, practitioners, and administrators may develop support mechanisms that provide a holistic approach to supporting the present and future success of its engineering students.

Comments

This proceeding is published as Rodriguez, Sarah, Mackenzie Sissel, Ronnia Estes, and Erin Doran. "Engineering Identity for Latina Undergraduate Students: Exploring Development and Intersecting Identities." 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. (2018): 29529. https://peer.asee.org/29529. Posted with permission.

Rights

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference.

Copyright Owner

American Society for Engineering Education

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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