Designing an engineering message for non-metropolitan community college females

Mary R. Anderson-Rowland, Armando Rodriguez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Based on grounded theory and Social Cognitive Career Theory, the authors have worked with and researched Community College (CC) students for nearly 15 years, with many of the schools being Hispanic Serving Institutions. A major goal is to be able to get engineering and computer science on the career horizon of undecided students. Over several years, surveys have been taken on CC students at five non-metropolitan schools to try to understand what they like or do not like about engineering and at the same time to identify myths and misconceptions that they have about the field. In particular, two CCs were studied and the beliefs about engineering/computer science were contrasted by school, gender, and ethnicity. In addition, the authors looked at females who were interested in engineering and computer science versus females who were not interested and found some major differences. Results are presented of a new survey of 54 non-metropolitan CC students to help determine what interests them in a presentation to consider a career in engineering and computer science. The moral here is that it is important to get to know the students you are trying to interest in engineering or computer science. One message, however friendly, does not fit all. Community colleges are not all the same. The engineering myths are still alive and well and need to be addressed. Females often have less information about engineering than males. Feedback from presentations to CC students can be helpful in guiding future efforts to interest CC students in engineering and computer science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016


Other123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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