Social and latent identities that contribute to diverse students' belongingness in engineering

Brianna Benedict, Dina Verdín, Allison Godwin, Thaddeus Milton

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

7 Scopus citations


This work-in-progress (WIP) research paper investigates contributing factors for how students describe what it means to be an engineer and what particular characteristics enable students to belong in engineering. We answer the research question, "What are the key contributing factors that influence how diverse students feel that they belong in engineering?" We used a semi-structured protocol to interview 12 diverse engineering students during Fall 2016 about their pathways into engineering, identities, and belongingness in engineering. The participants were selected from a pool of students who completed an attitudinal survey during Fall 2015 as a part of a larger study. They were purposefully recruited to maximize the number of women, students of color, first-generation college students, students with visible and non-visible disabilities, and LGBTQ+ students. The interviews were coded inductively to understand the emergent themes of how students described their social and individual identities and how they did or did not fit with what it means to be an engineer. The themes are emergent and this work-in-progress paper will describe our findings to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFIE 2017 - Frontiers in Education, Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781509059195
StatePublished - Dec 12 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event47th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2017 - Indianapolis, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2017Oct 21 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other47th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Belongingness
  • Identity
  • Latent diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Social and latent identities that contribute to diverse students' belongingness in engineering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this