This paper seeks to understand the factors that support first-generation college students’ certainty of majoring in engineering. Data used in this study came from thirty-two four-year ABET- accredited institutions across the United States which has a total sample of 790 first-generation college students. We used the frameworks of engineering role identity and sense of belonging to understand the factors that influence first-generation college students’ certainty of majoring in engineering. Certainty is referred to as the degree of confidence or decisiveness an individual has with regard to their chosen occupational plans. First, we examine how first-generation college students’ engineering role identity constructs directly impact their certainty of majoring in engineering. Second, we examine how a sense of belonging influences certainty of majoring in engineering for first-generation college students. This work illustrates the factors that are important for first-generation college students’ certainty of majoring in engineering and can help identify areas that can support and hinder students’ progression towards their degree completion.
engineering identity, first-generation college students, graduation certainty
Date of this Version
Verdín, D., & Godwin, A. (2019). The Relationship Between Engineering Identity and Belongingness on Certainty of Majoring in Engineering for First-Generation College Students.Paper presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Retrieved 2019, from the AERA Online Paper Repository.