This study examines African American student perceptions of persistence in engineering. The research design is methodologically qualitative using a purposefully selected population of engineering students. Semi-structured interviews were designed to develop an in-depth understanding of what completion of the engineering degree means to African American engineering students. This research seeks insight into the linkages between African American student perceptions of persistence as it relates to both the academic and social culture of the engineering department.
Vincent Tinto’s model of Institutional Departure (1975, 1987) is one of the most commonly cited models of persistence in higher education (Braxton, Milem, Sullivan, 2000). Tinto’s model was leveraged in this study to understand perceptions obtained through student interviews. Tinto suggests that exploration of student goal commitment and perceptions of institutional commitment are key to understanding student persistence. Results of this study suggest that African American students have perceptions about the university that may influence the decision to persist in engineering. Ultimately, this study may prove useful to researchers and administrators interested in improving access and success for African American engineering students.
|Commitee:||Brown, Edward, Perna, Laura W.|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Science education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||African American, Engineering, Predominantly white institution|
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