A Qualitative Study of African American Female Engineering College Students' Intersecting Identities, Sense of Belonging, and Intent to Persist
Since 2004, women have earned between 18% to 20% of undergraduate degrees in engineering, however, only 1% of those awarded were obtained by African American females (NSF, 2017). Limited research studies exist regarding the interconnections of identity and sense of belonging to African Americans’ persistence in engineering programs (McKoy, Hammond, Armwood & Hargrove, 2017). Studies have endorsed a positive relationship between sense of belonging and African American females’ persistence in engineering programs (ACT, 2009; Chachra, Kilgore, Loshbaugh, McCain, & Chen, 2008; Claar, 2007; Deci & Ryan, 2000; Loshbaugh & Wasilewski, 2015; Strayhorn, 2015). As a result of the relational-cultural values of African Americans, a sense of belonging has been found as a moderator to racial, social, and professional identity (DeRamus-Suazo, 2012; Ellemers, Spears & Doosje, 2002; Mendoza-Denton et al., 2002; Walton & Cohen, 2007). However, the interaction of culture (via sense of belonging) and the intersection of identities has yet to be examined. This study investigated the relationship between intersecting identities (social, professional, and racial/ethnic) and sense of belonging among African American undergraduate female students at an Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) to their intent to persist in engineering. This study utilized a phenomenological approach to assist in understanding how sense of belonging, intersecting identities (social, professional, and racial/ethnic), and intent to persist is experienced amongst African American female undergraduate engineering students at a southeastern HBCU.
African American Studies|Engineering|Counseling Psychology|Gender studies|Higher education
Tonya L McKoy,
"A Qualitative Study of African American Female Engineering College Students' Intersecting Identities, Sense of Belonging, and Intent to Persist"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.