Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Olgha Qaqish - North Caroline State University
This qualitative narrative research study critically explored the pathways, racial identities, and mathematical identities of the transfer experiences of African American male (AAM) students. The students have been majoring in engineering, have successfully transferred from community colleges (CCs) to a four-year engineering program at a public university. The theoretical framework that shaped this work was Critical Race Theory (CRT), where race is the center of the study. This study examined social and academic experiences of AAMs who have successfully transferred from CCs into four-year public universities. While racial and mathematical identities were the conceptual frameworks that guide this work. Research in this area continues to emerge, however, it points to shared findings that a less prominent racial identity of AA is related to weaker academic performances, whereas a strong salient racial identity is lined to stronger academic performances.
In addition, mathematical identities were used in this work as constructs that looked at the individual’s beliefs, attitudes and feelings towards mathematics. Mathematical identities describe the students’ ability to perform mathematics and how the students experience learning mathematics as a process where the classroom environment is treated as a broad context.
This study tightened the literature gap in minority male students at CCs and their transfer and academic experiences at four-year institutions, while it contributed to CRT perspectives on racial and mathematical identities. Furthermore, it provided the potential to increase engineering enrollment in two- and four-year institutions, increase underrepresented participants’ understanding and awareness of their own racial and mathematical identities, and inform and improve professional development of transfer staff officers at four-year institutions. This work focused on AAM transfer students’ academic journeys and looked at how they experienced learning math and engineering and have successfully transferred into four-year institutions. It looked at how these academic and social experiences influenced and shaped their racial and mathematical identities.
The design of the study consisted of data collection from semistructured interviews with AAM transfer students (n=11), majoring in engineering, from four-year Institutions, five students from public HBCU and six students from public PWI NC. Interviews included narrative biographies regarding their transfer and math and engineering experiences.
In conclusion, racial identity and mathematical identity of AAM transfer students at HBCUs and PWIs who successfully completed their math courses and are majoring in engineering are understudied. Through CRT theoretical framework and racial and mathematical identities construct, this work provided both theoretical and practical significance in this scholarly area.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): North Carolina State University
Faculty Advisor: Christine Grant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I solely conducted this research.