Although many programs that seek to increase the diversity of engineering have chosen to focus on sex and race/ethnicity, U.S. engineering students tend to be homogeneous in other dimensions too. We are currently examining differences in experiences for successful students coming from rural backgrounds. To answer this question we have re-analyzed a set of interviews from industrial engineering students at a single large Midwestern public university that has significant populations of rural, suburban, and urban students. Students were aggregated into subgroups based on the size of the student’s high school community. This qualitative study explores the experiences of five rural engineering students. We have found that the academic success of these five students is affected by their academic preparation, interaction with faculty, and interaction with their peers. Interestingly, these five students were most affected by experiences that either increased or diminished their relationship with faculty or their peers.
Available from: FIE Archive
Fitzmorris, C., R. L. Shehab and D. A. Trytten (2010). Factors Affecting the Successful Completion of an Industrial Engineering Program by Five Students from Rural Communities. 39th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference.