Engineering Faculty Perspectives on Their Role in the Success and Persistence of Underrepresented Minority Students

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership


School of Education and Health Sciences


Mary Ziskin


The perspectives of engineering faculty have been explored in this study to answer research questions related to their perceptions of their role in the success and persistence of underrepresented minority students and self-efficacy related to the implementation of evidence-based teaching practices in engineering. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 faculty participants and interpreted through interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). This study resulted in key findings which provides the host institution with insights which can inform faculty development and student success and persistence strategies for engineering administrators. The key findings from this qualitative research indicate engineering faculty in this study had a keen awareness of the high demand for engineering talent in the US, and also an awareness that engineering students have varied lived experiences, strengths, and challenges which can influence their educational engagement. Faculty also demonstrated the perspective that they play an important role in building critical relationships with students, which can serve as a catalyst to student support, guidance, encouragement, and persistence. Additionally, faculty discussed the importance of students having a broader support system, of especially peers, as well as the importance of having an internal motivation to succeed and persist in engineering. Finally, many engineering faculty expressed not originally considering teaching as a career path. This along with their expressed limitations in time, and the lack of required training early in their faculty careers, has resulted in a lack of self-efficacy in implementing evidence-based teaching practices known to promote URM student success and persistence in engineering.


Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Higher Education Administration, Underrepresented Minority Students, URM, Student Success, Student Persistence, Faculty Perceptions, Role of Faculty, Engineering Education, STEM Education

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