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A Fresh Look At The Strategies For Recruiting Students Of Color In Engineering Graduate Schools

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.33.1 - 6.33.7



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Paper Authors

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Michelle Rogers

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Kelly Burton

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Kamisha Hamilton

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2270

A fresh look at the strategies for recruiting students of color in engineering graduate schools

Kamisha Hamilton, Michelle Rogers, Kelly Burton

University of Wisconsin - Madison

I. Introduction

Unfortunately, over the past 10 years there has only been a slight increase in the number of minority students pursuing graduate degrees in sciences and engineering. Of all masters degrees awarded between 1989 and 1997, African Americans increased from 5.2 to7.4%; Hispanic students from 3.9% to 6.2%; and American Indian students from 0.4 to 0.6%. This is sad news considering the rising reliance of the American economy on employees with engineering and technology related fields. The call has been sounded once again for higher education to make a difference.

Each year the US News & World Report ranks academic institutions based on several factors. One way to sort their list is by academic rankings. An interesting fact was discovered when comparing those schools ranked high by reputation (in engineering) and those that graduate the greatest number underrepresented minorities. Those who are in the top five academically are also among the top five in terms of students of color enrollment. Evidently, those who pride themselves in high academic standards also pride themselves in having a diverse student body. MIT, Stanford, Georgia Tech, UC-Berkeley and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor were ranked by other academicians as the five best engineering schools2. Similarly, these same schools graduated the highest numbers of under-represented students of color in engineering1.

Studies have shown that reasons for under-representation of minorities in science and engineering graduate programs are numerous. One such study sited four reasons: (1) lack of early encouragement, (2) lack of financial support and limited opportunities, (3) limited recruitment, and (4) institutional racism4. Therefore, programs aiming to support graduate students should be designed to combat these issues. University of Wisconsin-Madison has employed several strategies that target these issues at the undergraduate and graduate level: the Engineering Summer Program, the Summer Undergraduate Research Scholars/Research Experience (SURE/REU) Program, the Opportunities in Engineering (OPPS) Conference, and the Graduate Engineering Research Scholars (GERS) Program.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Rogers, M., & Burton, K., & Hamilton, K. (2001, June), A Fresh Look At The Strategies For Recruiting Students Of Color In Engineering Graduate Schools Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9288

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