An exploration of the diverse stories of engineering students at community colleges: Findings from year one

Audrey Boklage, Nadia Kellam, Anna Montana Cirell, Brooke Coley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In this NSF-funded Research in the Formation of Engineering (RFE) project, we are exploring the unique experiences of students from underrepresented groups (URGs) at community colleges who have the opportunity to transfer to engineering programs. We are specifically investigating how their experiences in community college influence their plans for future education and careers. While the diversity of 4-year universities has remained stagnant, the diversity of community college student populations is actually increasing. Therefore, community colleges represent a potential source of talent for future engineers from diverse backgrounds. We are currently in the first year of data collection where we have piloted the study at one of the data collection sites. Five students from traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering have been interviewed. We use a narrative inquiry methodology to understand these students' experiences at community colleges. This paper shares 3 lessons learned during this pilot phase of research, which include allowing sufficient time for institutional access, the criticality of a willingness to iterate on participant recruitment procedures, and the need for constant consideration of the broader political climate when recruiting participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 23 2018
Event125th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2018Dec 27 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'An exploration of the diverse stories of engineering students at community colleges: Findings from year one'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this