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ERIC Number: ED539618
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Diversity in Engineering Teaching--Views from Future Engineering Faculty. Research Brief
Sattler, Brook; Yellin, Jessica; Huang, Yi-Min; Turns, Jennifer
Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (NJ1)
Even though diversity issues have not always been addressed in engineering education, addressing diversity has emerged as an important issue in the engineering education community as the student population in colleges and universities has become increasingly more diverse. Despite these changes in student populations, attrition from engineering programs remains a significant issue across all groups. For underrepresented minority groups, recruitment and retention in the engineering programs is especially critical because significantly fewer engineering degrees were awarded to these students in the last decade. The current number of minorities and women in student populations represented in engineering programs are still well below parity with their distribution within the higher education population. The context of this diversity research was situated within a larger qualitative study of future engineering faculty at a large, public research university on the West Coast. These future engineering educators created teaching portfolios during an 8 session workshop in which they had the opportunity to examine, reflect, and revise their beliefs and goals as teachers through a series of exercises, writing tasks, and group discussions. In the first of two workshop sessions about diversity, graduate students and post-docs were asked to write a diversity statement after a facilitated discussion about diversity issues in engineering education. In the subsequent session, they shared these written statements and discussed them with other workshop participants in a peer review activity. After the conclusion of this workshop, participants underwent semi-structured interviews for an hour about the processes that they used in constructing their teaching portfolios and the outcomes and impacts that creating a teaching portfolio had on them. In this study, the authors focus the analysis on the exit interview data. The core of this analysis was to characterize how these study participants thought about diversity as it relates to engineering education and where and how they formed their ideas. The data suggest that most participants had thought about diversity issues and had formed opinions or strategies for addressing diversity in engineering education. Some participants shared narratives in which they described critical incidents that shaped their attitudes, beliefs, and conceptions of diversity through these personal experiences. All participants were cognizant that diversity issues can be highly sensitive and chose their words carefully when discussing diversity issues.
Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education. Available from: University of Washington. Box 352183, Seattle, WA 98195. Fax: 206-221-3161; e-mail: celtad@engr.; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of Washington, Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE)