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Towards Chemical Engineering Student Diversity: The Case of International Students Experiences at Tuskegee University

David Baah, Tamara Floyd Smith, Shamim Ara Begum, Allen Smith, K.C. Kwon, Nader Vahdat

Abstract


Cultural integration of students and student population diversity play an important role in training college students, due to growing demand for diversity to solutions to human needs, the advancement of global economy and cultural understanding. This type of cultural integration has resulted in the new normal known as the multicultural classroom. However, studies have shown that multicultural classrooms are associated with low academic achievement due to cultural differences and trust problems within the new culture. As an HBCU, Tuskegee University is a multicultural environment and so is the Chemical Engineering Department. This study combines survey and focus group discussion to access the experiences of international students in the Chemical Engineering Department. The results suggest that while the issues of multicultural classrooms are experienced by internationals, such experiences are different for different students. Also, the students consider such experiences as part of the learning that makes them stronger upon graduation than when they enrolled.


Keywords


multicultural, environment, chemical engineering, achievement, trust

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