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ERIC Number: ED532200
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 153
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-5953-1
Case Study Analysis of the Effect of Contextual Supports and Barriers on African American Students' Persistence in Engineering
Montgomery, Lisa
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
Using case study methodology (Stake, 2006), this research examined the environmental influences, or contextual supports and barriers, that were most influential in contributing to African American students' persistence in an engineering major. Social cognitive career theory provides the framework for understanding the role of contextual supports and barriers in conceptualizing persistence. Eight African American college students at a Large, Midatlantic State University (LMSU) participated in the study. Semistructured interviews, lasting on average 82.5 minutes, were conducted using an interview protocol adapted from Seymour and Hewitt (1997). The six emergent themes that had the most impact on their ability to persistence in emerging are: (1) Cultural Issues; (2) Engineering Identity; (3) Family Influence; (4) Peer relationships; (5) Academic Issues; and (6) Personal Issues. Five of the six were perceived as both contextual supports and barriers to their experience in their major. Cultural issues (e.g. participation in the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP), involvement in National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and other culture-related activities) figured most prominently in providing the necessary support and obviating the effects of any barriers they encountered. Implications for various stake holders and theory were provided. Limitations and strengths of the study and recommendations for future research were also discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A