The Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1 - 64

Samuel Wonson * Lori L. Moore * Pauline Wade * Dustin K. Grabsch *  Kasey Martinez * Andrea M. Ogilvie

the highest levels of confidence in succeeding
in engineering courses (Inkelas, 2008). It can
be hypothesized, then, that this higher selfconfidence contributes to the development of
identity, especially professional identity.
Professional identity is one of many factors
contributing to the development and shaping
of professionals across a multitude of industries. A person's affinity for their profession
has been linked to professional success and
persistence in their respective field-and engineering is no different. Recent studies have
shown that a lack of identification with the engineering profession and one's view of oneself
as an engineer often motivate students to
migrate out of engineering into other majors
(Patrick & Borrego, 2016; Tonso, 2014). Since
the failure to have a strong identification with
the field can affect retention, it is important
to determine how engineering identity can be
used to augment the recruitment and retention of engineering students, particularly in
groups that traditionally have been underrepresented (Patrick & Borrego, 2016). For this
reason, higher education administrators and
engineering educators have turned to a myriad
of interventions to help strengthen the professional identity of engineering students.
As noted by the National Center for Education Statistics (2018), of the approximately
1.9 million bachelor's degrees reported in the
2015-16 school year, 18% represented science,
technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
fields. However, nearly half of undergraduate students enrolled in STEM majors do not
continue in this field; they change majors or
simply leave the institution (Chen, 2013). Furthermore, if a student does not enter college
as a STEM major, it is improbable that they
64

will later switch their major to a STEM field
(Ohland et al., 2008). Researchers have begun
to focus on ways to bolster retention in STEM
fields (Hall et al., 2015), and studies have found
that LLCs can be particularly useful for improving the learning experience for engineers and
for aiding their retention (Daempfle, 2003;
Light, 2005; Wankat & Oreovicz, 2005). By
more deeply connecting with faculty through
the immersive experience of an LLC, students
develop a greater sense of identity with their
major (Ghosal et al., 2019), and this experience
can increase their affinity with professional
and engineering identities and consequently
improve retention within the field.

PERSONAL, RELATIONAL, AND
COLLECTIVE IDENTITY
Individuals have varying levels of self-identification, and three commonly understood levels
include personal, relational, and collective identity (Brewer & Gardner, 1996; Schwartz et al.,
2011). Personal identity is " the differentiated,
individuated self-concept most characteristic
of studies of the self " and reflects the individual level (Brewer & Gardner, 1996, p. 84).
Components of personal identity include traits
such as charisma, intellect, and athletic ability
(Schwartz et al., 2011). Relational identity " is
the self-concept derived from connections
and role relationships with significant others "
and reflects the interpersonal level (Brewer &
Gardner, 1996, p. 84). Examples of this level
include roles served by individuals such as
sibling, colleague, and boyfriend/girlfriend.
Collective identity " corresponds to the concept
of social identity as represented in social identity theory and self-categorization theory " and
reflects the group level of identity (Brewer &

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

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