Board 70: An Exploration of the Diverse Stories of Engineering Students at Community Colleges: Findings from Year One

Audrey Boklage, Nadia Kellam, Anna Cirell, Brooke Coley
2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Audrey Boklage is a post-doctoral research assistant in the Polytechnic Engineering program at Arizona State University. She works under the mentorship of Associate Professor, Nadia Kellam. Her research focuses on STEM learning environments and the role of critical events in student learning. She is particularly interested in improving the culture and environment of undergraduate education experience for all students, particularly those from underrepresented groups. Audrey has expertise in
more » ... s expertise in qualitative research methods including exploratory case studies and narrative inquiry. She is currently exploring the culture and environments of university makerspaces and community colleges through student stories. critical understandings of the culture of engineering education and, especially, the experiences of underrepresented undergraduate engineering students and engineering educators. She is a qualitative researcher who uses narrative research methods to understand undergraduate student and faculty member's experiences in engineering education. Dr. Kellam is interested in curricular design and has developed design spines for environmental and mechanical engineering programs when she was a faculty member at UGA, and recently helped design the EESD PhD program at ASU. She teaches design courses, engineering science courses, and graduate courses focused on qualitative research methods. She also serves as an Abstract In this NSF-funded Research in the Formation of Engineering (RFE) project, we are exploring the unique experiences of students from underrepresented groups (URGs) at community colleges who have the opportunity to transfer to engineering programs. We are specifically investigating how their experiences in community college influence their plans for future education and careers. While the diversity of 4-year universities has remained stagnant, the diversity of community college student populations is actually increasing. Therefore, community colleges represent a potential source of talent for future engineers from diverse backgrounds. We are currently in the first year of data collection where we have piloted the study at one of the data collection sites. Five students from traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering have been interviewed. We use a narrative inquiry methodology to understand these students' experiences at community colleges. This paper shares 3 lessons learned during this pilot phase of research, which include allowing sufficient time for institutional access, the criticality of a willingness to iterate on participant recruitment procedures, and the need for constant consideration of the broader political climate when recruiting participants.
doi:10.18260/1-2--30092 fatcat:ij55nvnz2nhttjotgewtzsc4li