Topical concerns and critical questions engineering students want/need answers to: Dependence on key groups

Armando Rodriguez, Pragyan A. Pradhan, Karan Puttannaiah, Nirangkush Das, Kaustav Mondal, Aratrik Sarkar

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

3 Scopus citations


This Research to Practice Full Paper examines which topical concerns and critical questions engineering students want/need answers to - based on a survey associated with a list of 201 critical questions (addressing 17 topics) asked by students since 2001. Over this period, the lead author has run an Academic Success and Professional Development (ASAP) mentoring-scholarship program (supported by NSF/industrial funding) aimed at recruiting, training, graduating and placing engineering students. This project-centric program at Arizona State University (ASU) - and the associated community of practice (consisting of learners and faculty-industry-peer mentors), while currently focusing on upper-division transfer students, serves upper-division non-transfers and some graduate students. The list of topics and questions was created to help students ask questions and think about the opportunities/challenges before them. Data for the most recent cohort of 74 scholars is presented and analyzed. It is shown how the list of selected critical topics and questions varies depends on gender, minority status and age. Analysis of the data shows that higher-risk (higher-context) groups (e.g. women, underrepresented minorities) focus more on shorter-term career goals while lower-risk groups focus more on longer-term career and life-planning goals. The information presented should be helpful to program leaders, administrators and educators advising engineering students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education
Subtitle of host publicationFostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538611739
StatePublished - Jul 2 2018
Event48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2018Oct 6 2018

Publication series

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


Conference48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


  • Academic success
  • Career-shaping projects
  • Context diversity
  • Mentoring
  • Professional development
  • Scholarships
  • Transfer students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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