The Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1 - 69

Professional Identities in Living-Learning Communities

Professional identity develops
through interactions with colleagues
and external regulations, shaping
the way an individual carries out
the duties of their role. As a result,
this development is shared among
other professionals in the same role
and continually guides individuals
throughout their careers.

es, while 6.56% were graduate students (n = 33).
Using a student's entry term into the institution,
a number was determined to represent years at
the institution for each undergraduate respondent. The sample included undergraduate students with the following years at the institution:
71.57% in their first year (n = 360), 10.14% in
their second year (n = 51), 6.76% in their third
year (n = 34), and 4.97% in their fourth year or
more (n = 25). The number of years at the institution was not considered for graduate students,
as this information was considered less relevant
for this population. The respondents consisted
of 75.35% men (n = 379) with a mean age of
19.32. In terms of race and ethnicity, more than
half of the respondents were White (52.49%,
n = 264), a disparity seen within the engineering population at the institution. Overall, the
demographics of the sample were representative of the institution and college (Texas A&M
University, 2019).

Measures
We utilized a 38-item researcher-developed

instrument that explored the professional and
engineering identities of college students. The
instrument was approved by the Institutional
Review Board and contained three components: (a) demographic information, (b) professional identity, and (c) engineering identity.

Demographic information. Demographic
information was connected to institutional
records using the respondents' student identification numbers. Once connected, the
unique identifier was removed. Demographic
variables included in the study were age, race,
gender, first-generation college student status,
LLC participation, and enrollment term.
Professional identity. We used an established scale-the 25-item Professional Identity Five-Factor Scale (PIFFS) developed by Tan
et al. (2016)-in order to increase reliability
(Creswell & Guetterman, 2017). PIFFS examines five factors associated with professional
identity: knowledge about professional practices, experience with the profession, having
a professional as a role model, professional
self-efficacy, and preference for a particular
profession (Tan et al., 2016).
As applied in this study, knowledge of professional practices consisted of six items, such
as " I have a good idea about the rules and regulations in the industry " and " I know the nature
of the work I will do in my future work environment. " Experience with the profession also
contained six items and included statements
such as " I follow developments in my future
industry in newspapers and on television. "
Having a professional as a role model included
six items, such as " When working on problems
in class, I imagine myself to be in the shoes
of a professional in my future work environment " and " I admire most of the teachers who
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Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

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