(73h) Tapping into Diverse Student Assets to Enhance Design Framing Ability and Professional Identity Formation
AIChE Annual Meeting
Monday, November 14, 2016 - 9:59am to 10:16am
Women were considerably more likely than men to view design as a co-evolutionary process, t (122) = 2.69, p<0.01. It was also found that first generation college students were significantly more likely to agree that design is a learning activity than their traditional peers, t (113)= 2.50, p<0.05. A comparison of urban and rural student population groups revealed that students from rural communities were more likely to frame the problem using chemical engineering principles. Together, these findings support the premise that constraints in engineering design can extend beyond the technical to student assets. Regression analysis was also used to assess variance in student design solutions. Students who lack pre-college engineering design exposure and who rated their academic ability lower in introductory courses tended to generate solutions based on divergent problem framing if they viewed constraints as part of the creative endeavor rather than an obstacle. This finding suggests a critical need for engineering faculty to tap into student assets indiscriminately as undergraduates form their professional identity. Success in engineering is impacted by student background characteristics which in turn influence self-efficacy beliefs and their desire to persist along an engineering career pathway.