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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
Student organizations
Higher education
Engineering education
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. 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. This study aims to address this literature gap and the underrepresentation of Latina/o students by investigating their development of engineering identity. This study 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. That goal was achieved through use of a two-phase mixed methods design with a developmental purpose. Through this design, interviews and observations with Latina/o undergraduates were conducted using an asset-based and culturally situated approach guided by Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth Framework. Based on results from the interviews and observations, a culturally situated survey of engineering identity development for Latina/o student members of SHPE was created and piloted. 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:2015-05
Publisher:Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Series/Report:Coordinated Science Laboratory Report no. UILU-ENG-15-2204
Genre:Technical Report
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-06

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