Student Conceptualizations about Diversity:”How would you describe the diversity in engineering at your institution?”

Karis Boyd-Sinkler, Amy L. Hermundstad, Mayra S. Artiles, Canek Moises Luna Phillips, Benjamin David Lutz, Walter C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

As the field of engineering continuously suffers from a lack of diversity, it is widely accepted that the engineering education community continue focusing on broadening participation. However, similar consensus does not exist as it relates to measuring progress. We argue that this is partially due to the ambiguity of the word diversity. Because people have different meanings for and associations with the concept of diversity, it can be expected that progress, and the extent of the problem, looks different to different people: what we consider “diverse enough” is thus a moving target. T his paper examines the ways in which this target moves from person to person. We interviewed undergraduate (n=19) and graduate students (n=22) majoring in engineering at a predominately white, mid-Atlantic institution, asking them to describe the current level of diversity in engineering at their institution. Grounded in social constructionism, we explore students' rationale for determining the extent to which their shared environment is perceived as diverse. Our results suggest that engineering students use various environmental and social cues to reach conclusions about diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Apr 29 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, CoNECD 2018 - Crystal City, United States
Duration: Apr 29 2019May 2 2019

Conference

Conference2018 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, CoNECD 2018
CountryUnited States
CityCrystal City
Period4/29/195/2/19

Keywords

  • Diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Student perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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