Enculturation of Diverse Students to the Engineering Practices through First-Year Engineering College Experiences
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American Society for Engineering Education, 2017. This paper presents the analysis of engineering enculturation constructs in the way that diverse groups are assimilated into engineering practices. The studies of socialization processes investigate the relationship of behavior, such as enactment-externalization to engineers eventually adopting proper work practices that are contrary to their preconceived notions of successful engineers. Therefore, studies of socialization processes, by which engineering students come into engineering practices, can provide impetus for further study about enculturation. For example, in the workplace, communication and teamwork are highly valued. Yet many engineering students value individual accomplishment and competitiveness as the tactic to succeed. In this study, we gathered information about student expectations for the process to become an engineer, by learning engineering culture (knowledge, practice, and values) through the engineering foundation course, interaction with faculty, teaching assistants, and peers, and the other activities at the university. We listed the engineering foundation course outcomes that are identified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and are also common to most of the engineering programs at most universities. Those can also be called engineering enculturation outcomes because students should exhibit characteristics of these outcomes at the end of the engineering program on their way to becoming a professional engineer. The study seeks to help understand how enculturation may contribute to the development of engineering students, who may particularly be from diverse backgrounds, adopting behavior and engineering practices favorable to their eventual success in the workplace.