Engineering Identity of Black and Hispanic Undergraduates: The Impact of Minority Serving Institutions

Lorraine Fleming, Kalynda Smith, Dawn Williams, Leonard Bliss
2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Despite the fact that Black students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are more likely to become professionals than their peers at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), and that Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) graduate the highest number of Hispanic students in the United States, much of the research on the experiences of minority engineering undergraduates has been conducted at PWIs. This National Science Foundation-funded study examined Black and Hispanic
more » ... ing undergraduates at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to understand how their engineering identities developed while attending an MSI. This study used a mixed-methods design, collecting quantitative data through surveys and qualitative data through semi-structured interviews. Participants (N=202) were male and female engineering sophomores, including Black students attending two HBCUs and Hispanic students attending two HSIs. Both Black and Hispanic engineering undergraduates reported benefits of attending MSIs. These benefits included having a curriculum that provided challenging coursework, professors who were invested in their success, peers who were like family, and the reputation of their institution for graduating well-prepared minority students in engineering. Data analysis found that the majority of the students reported having an engineering identity. Furthermore, the experiences of these minority students impacted their engineering identity in ways that have not been cited in previous research.
doi:10.18260/1-2--19524 fatcat:in424xanyrhrllsbjpt67axjua