In recent years, there have been several research projects focused on returning graduate students in engineering, those who have significant industry experience before beginning their graduate studies. These projects have focused on both the masters and doctoral levels and have looked at research, coursework, benefits of attending graduate school, and the cost of going back. One of the existing papers has looked at the ways in which professional organizations look on returning students, and how their membership policies affect these students. The issue of how returning students see themselves within professional societies was not addressed. As of yet, none of these studies have focused on returning graduate students in engineering technology.
Overall engineering technology students have not been researched in depth, with most engineering technology practitioners and administrators relying on data obtained from populations of engineering and other STEM students. Faculty and staff that have interacted with both engineering technology and engineering populations of students find the differences marked, thus supporting the need for further research to quantify differences and similarities in these populations. This paper will focus on the intersection of the two gaps, focusing on returning graduate engineering technology students, and their view of professional societies. Furthering initial work done on engineering technology student identity, it will look at the identity of graduate engineering technology returners within professional societies.
The study was carried out through administration of a survey developed to learn more about engineering technology returners. The survey asks participants about the societies to which they belong, and how they see themselves with those organizations. Grounded theory will be used to analyze the survey data. The flexibility and adaptability of grounded theory generated method provides results that are continuous and nascent. The process is well defined and begins with identification of a substantive area, for this study this is the returning engineering technology graduate student. The survey questions are designed to collect data focused on the two areas of concern and following the survey will be coded as it is collected. As the coding takes place, memos will be made to capture extraneous thoughts and information that was not already designed into the survey questions. The memos will be sorted with the coded data and as themes emerge from the data observations are written and disseminated through this conference paper.
Date of this Version
Lucietto, A. M., & Peters, D. L. (2017, June), Board # 68 : Engineering Technology Graduate Students: Roles Professional Societies Have in Their Formation Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27904