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A Pathway To Success: Increasing Minorities In Engineering Through The Pre College Pipeline

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Ensuring Access to K - 12 Engineering Programs

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

11.92.1 - 11.92.11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--1364

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1364

Download Count

142

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Paper Authors

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Tremayne Waller Virginia Tech

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TREMAYNE O. WALLER received a B.S. degree in Liberal Arts Education from Averett University in 1996 and M.S. degree in Counseling from Radford University in 1999. Currently, he is working on a PhD. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He works for the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity as the graduate assistant overseeing STEP and the Pre-College Initiative programs.

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Sharnnia Artis Virginia Tech

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SHARNNIA ARTIS is currently a Ph.D. student in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering in 2002 and a Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering in 2005.

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Bevlee Watford Virginia Tech

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DR. BEVLEE A. WATFORD, P.E. is the founding Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, established in 1992. Watford received the ASEE 2003 Minorities in Engineering award due to her efforts to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of under-represented students in engineering. She is currently working for the National Science Foundation as a rotator in the Division of Undergraduate Education.

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Tasha Zephirin Virginia Tech

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TASHA K. ZEPHIRIN is currently a junior undergraduate student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University majoring in Electrical Engineering Completed. Presently, she is the President of the Virginia Tech Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and a BEST mentor (Black Engineering Support Team) for incoming freshman students. Also, she served as the Freshman Pre-College Initiative Chair '03-'04 and ’04-05.

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

A Pathway to Success: Increasing Minorities in Engineering through the Pre- College Pipeline

Abstract

Several researchers have indicated that African American college student numbers are rising in higher education. However, issues in preparedness to enter college and little knowledge of the university system remain extant with many minority groups. Also, these underrepresented groups are less likely to enter science-related fields. Thus, it is critical that administrators in higher education and other stake-holder groups develop incentives to encourage, support, and assist pre- college underrepresented students to pursue degrees in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM).

This paper focuses on a pre-college program targeted towards African American pre-college students and sponsored by the Virginia Tech chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the College of Engineering’s Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED). The objectives of this paper are two-fold: 1) to describe the structure and implementation of the pre-college program, and 2) to discuss the impact of the pre-college program on the student participants. Since 1999, approximately 500 students have participated in the pre-college program. Phone interviews were conducted to collect data on these participants. The results of these phone interviews provided data on the number of participants who have completed high school, enrolled in college, pursued an engineering degree, graduated from college, and pursued a graduate degree. In conclusion, this paper discusses the impact this pre-college program has on the future enrollment of these pre-college students in higher education and in the STEM fields.

Introduction

Over the past decades, researchers have indicated that African American college student numbers are rising in higher education.5,2 The American Council on Education (ACE) report indicates that enrollment among African American students grew to nearly 1.8 million students between 1991 and 2001. This is a 37 percent increase; however, issues in preparedness to enter college and little knowledge of the university system remain extant with many minority groups. Also, these underrepresented groups are less likely to enter science-related fields.8,4,7 Several factors that impede minority groups’ academic success before college exist, prolonging or even precluding their graduation from college.

One at-risk factor associated with pre-college students is academic under preparedness. Hick’s research indicates that pre-college students may be perceived as having (a) poorer academic and social preparation, (b) lower self-confidence, and (c) inadequate parental support.6 These issues were carefully examined in first generation students. Another at-risk factor associated with pre- college students is their unrealistic picture of what college entails. It is believed that inaccurate perspectives about the university’s complex systems can be a devastating and challenging experience, particularly for African Americans and other minorities entering STEM fields. 3

Waller, T., & Artis, S., & Watford, B., & Zephirin, T. (2006, June), A Pathway To Success: Increasing Minorities In Engineering Through The Pre College Pipeline Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1364

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015