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ERIC Number: ED549835
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 162
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2672-9966-6
The Characteristics and Experiences of Successful Undergraduate Latina Students Who Persist in Engineering
Robinson, Carrie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University
Females and underrepresented ethnic minorities earn a small percentage of engineering and computer science bachelor's degrees awarded in the United States, earn an even smaller proportion of master's and doctoral degrees, and are underrepresented in the engineering workforce (Engineering Workforce Commission, [2006], as cited in National Science Foundation, 2012; United States Department of Education, [2006], as cited in National Science Foundation, 2009a; United States Department of Education, [2006], as cited in National Science Foundation, 2009b). Considerable research has examined the perceptions, culture, curriculum, and pedagogy in engineering that inhibits the achievement of women and underrepresented ethnic minorities. This action research study used a qualitative approach to examine the characteristics and experiences of Latina students who pursued a bachelor's degree in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) as part of the 2008 first-time full-time freshman cohort. The researcher conducted two semi-structured individual interviews with seven undergraduate Latina students who successfully persisted to their fourth (senior) year in engineering. The researcher aimed to understand what characteristics made these students successful and how their experiences affected their persistence in an engineering major. The data collected showed that the Latina participants were motivated to persist in their engineering degree program due to their parents' expectations for success and high academic achievement; their desire to overcome the discrimination, stereotyping, and naysayers that they encountered; and their aspiration to become a role model for their family and other students interested in pursuing engineering. From the data collected, the researcher provided suggestions to implement and adapt educational activities and support systems within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering to improve the retention and graduation rates of Latinas in engineering at ASU. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona