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Title:Engineering familia: the role of a professional organization in the development of engineering identities of Latina/o undergraduates
Author(s):Revelo Alonso, Renata Alejandra
Director of Research:Loui, Michael C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Baber, Lorenzo D.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Trent, William T.; Pawley, Alice
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Ed Organization and Leadership
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
engineering education
student organizations
Abstract:Despite the efforts that have been made in at least the last forty years, Latinas and Latinos continue to be underrepresented in engineering. Research has shown that students who identify as engineers during their college years are more likely to persist in engineering (Beam, Pierrakos, Constantz, Johri, & Anderson, 2009; Pierrakos, Beam, Constantz, Johri, & Anderson, 2009). One way to study identification with engineering is through a study of engineering identity development. The current literature on engineering identity has primarily focused on an aggregated population of engineering students, leaving the experiences of students of color unexplored (Matusovich, Barry, Meyers, Louis, 2011; Meyers, Ohland, Pawley, Silliman, & Smith, 2012; Tonso, 2006). This study aims to address this literature gap and the underrepresentation of Latina/o students by investigating their development of engineering identity. In this study, I answered the following research question: In what ways and to what extent does membership in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) influence the engineering identity development of Latina/o students? The goal of this study was to produce a culturally situated understanding of the ways Latina/o students develop their engineering identities. To achieve this goal, I used a two-phase mixed methods design with a developmental purpose. Through this design, I conducted interviews and observations with Latina/o undergraduates using an asset-based and culturally situated approach guided by Yosso’s (2005) Community Cultural Wealth Framework. Using results from the interviews and observations, I created and piloted a culturally situated survey of engineering identity development for Latina/o student members of SHPE. This two-phase design revealed important and new dimensions of engineering identity development for Latina/o students. These new dimensions of engineering identity development were commitment to community, engineering role modeling, and nurturing an engineering familia. These dimensions build on and broaden current conceptualizations of engineering identity.
Issue Date:2015-04-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Renata A. Revelo Alonso
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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