Research Approaches

My research objective is to broaden participation in engineering by focusing on issues pertaining to access and persistence for students’ who are racial/ethnic minorities, women, first in their families to attend college (i.e., first-generation college students), socioeconomic status, and those who live at the intersection of multiple identities.

Approaches I use to address my research goals:

Mainly, my approach to data collection involves administering survey questionnaires to undergraduate engineering students across multiple institutions. I also take advantage of the nationally-representative databases that have been developed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The NCES collects longitudinal data of students enrolled in secondary school to postsecondary school and beyond. I use statistical methods such as structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, mediation/moderation process analysis, multiple/logistic regression, and an array of parametric/non-parametric tests to answer my broader question of access and persistence.

To a lighter extent, I also conduct qualitative interviews with a small sample of students to capture their experiences at a more granular level. Learning about students’ experiences and trajectories provides a deeper understanding of issues pertaining to access and persistence. Also, when warranted, students interview data provide a springboard towards the development of survey questionnaires.