Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Education and Human Development

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Debi Switzer

Committee Member

Dr. Edmond P. Bowers

Committee Member

Dr. Heather Brooker

Committee Member

Dr. Natasha Croom

Committee Member

Dr. Matthew Madison


This dissertation explores the impact of the classroom environment on undergraduate engineering students by integrating three manuscripts using the process-person-context-time (PPCT) model within Bioecological Systems Theory. Each manuscript focused on students’ sense of belonging, motivation, and academic confidence. The study confirms prior research suggesting a link between students' perceptions of the environment and their sense of belonging, motivation, and academic confidence. The findings highlight the complex nature of student and classroom environment relationships throughout their college experience. Moreover, the results are demonstrated across different engineering majors. Overall, this dissertation highlights the significance of understanding the complex interactions between students and their classroom environments in engineering education. It emphasized the need to create more inclusive and supportive classroom environments that have the ability to enhance students' sense of belonging and motivation. These findings have implications for engineering educators seeking to foster positive learning experiences for all students, regardless of their background or major.

Author ORCID Identifier



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