Research Briefs -

Exploring Issues of Diversity

The following summaries of CAEE research findings on Diversity include topics such as:

  • the effect of diverse student identities
  • gender differences
  • addressing diversity in teaching

Two women discuss test equipment

Competence in Engineering: A Tale of Two women. (ASEE 2009)
A lesson for engineering education practitioners, based on the findings in this paper, is that some female engineering students, and perhaps some students in general, need on-going help to bridge the gap between their classroom learning and their perception of the skills needed to practice engineering. Read the brief >

Exploring Gender and Self-confidence in Engineering Students: A Multi-method Approach. (ASEE 2009)
Findings from this study indicate that, over the course of the four years of their engineering education, men have higher confidence than women in their math and science abilities and in their ability to solve open-ended problems. Read the brief >

Engineering Students Define Diversity: An Uncommon Thread. (ASEE 2008)
Diversity is defined in many ways by a vast demographic of students. In their own words, students outlined an impending generational paradigm shift in diversity. Read the brief >

Being and Becoming: Gender and Identity Formation of Engineering Students (ASEE 2008)
As the nature of student understanding of engineering changes over time and differs between genders, a complete picture of how students develop an engineering identity becomes complex. Read the brief >

Same Courses, Different Outcomes? Variations in Confidence, Experience, and Preparation in Engineering Design. (ASEE 2008)
Gender differences in confidence and perceived academic preparation to engage in design are primarily accounted for by the gender gap within the majority group. Read the brief >

Socioeconomic Status and the Undergraduate Engineering Experience: Preliminary Findings from Four American Universities. (ASEE 2008)
Low SES students were more likely to professionally persist (i.e., intending to do engineering-related work and/or study for three years following graduation) than their high SES counterparts. Read the brief >

Diversity in Engineering Education Research: Insights From Three Study Designs. (ASEE 2007)
Three examples of ISEE Scholars' research projects are presented to demonstrate ways in which diversity issues can be conceptualized and integrated into research. Read the brief >

Diversity in Engineering Teaching -- Views From Future Engineering Faculty. (ASEE 2007)
The majority of participants in a teaching portfolio program reported that a critical incident or significant life event was pivotal in shaping their attitudes, beliefs, and conceptions about diversity. Read the brief >

Cultural Models of the Admissions Process in Engineering: Views on the Role of Gender. (ASEE 2007)
The view that women get into the college easier than men was prevalent among students, despite the fact that "UWest" has been effectively banned by State law for almost a decade from treating a student preferentially because of her gender.
Read the brief >

Using Diversity Statements to Promote Engagement With Diversity and Teaching. (ASEE 2006)
Writing and sharing individual diversity statements represents one strategy for empowering educators in their efforts to address diversity in their teaching. Read the brief >

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