Work in progress: An investigation of a college of engineering underrepre-sented minority students' perceptions of inclusive co-curricular spaces and student support programs beyond the first year Conference Paper uri icon


  • American Society for Engineering Education, 2018. Undergraduate programs attempting to increase retention of underrepresented minorities (URM) often focus on the students' experiences within the first year. At large institutions, students may also have access to additional services and programs to help them succeed beyond their first year. However, some students are either unaware of these resources or unwilling to participate. This can be an issue for URM, especially if they are the only one from their small niche in a particular major or class. At Texas A&M University, Black and Hispanic students make up a small demographic within the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences (COALS) and Engineering (COE), approximately 3% and 23% respectively. Lack of peer interactions, compounded by other challenges that URM students face, can lead to feelings of isolation and eventually departure decisions. To overcome this perceived isolation, colleges must develop ways to connect students with student support programs (SSP), as well as encourage utilization of co-curricular spaces (CS) already available, yet under utilized. This work explores factors that promote or deter upper-level URM students from engaging in support programs and other student success opportunities in the COALS and COE. The primary goal was to evaluate (1) the feelings of upper-level students concerning inclusion and (2) the utilization of CS & SSP on this University's campus. This research problem will be addressed through a mixed methods approach including knowledge mapping, surveys and focus groups, by exploring the following identifiers: 1) marginalization and 2) isolation. This is a work in progress, this report documents the step-by-step approach used up until data collection.

published proceedings

  • ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • Vance, C. C., Perkins, B., Bannister, J., & Moore, J. M.

complete list of authors

  • Vance, CC||Perkins, B||Bannister, J||Moore, JM

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM