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A Review Of Strategies Employed On Minority Recruitment And Retention In Engineering Education

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

International Engineering Education Ii / International Engineering Education I - Poster Session / International Engineering Education II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.107.1 - 12.107.6



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Paper Authors


Webert Lovencin University of Florida

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Webert Lovencin is pursuing a doctoral degree in the department of Civil and Coastal Engineering at the University of Florida. His areas of research involve public works engineering, construction management, transportation engineering and civil engineering materials. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida. Mr. Lovencin has work and conducted research for the Florida Department of Transportation for over five years. He is a member of ASCE, ITE, NSBE, and Chi Epsilon.

Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering
University of Florida
P.O. Box 116580
Gainesville, FL 32611
Telephone: (352) 392-9537 ext. 1493
Fax: (352) 392-3394

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Fazil Najafi University of Florida

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Nick Safai Salt Lake City College

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

A Review of Strategies Employed on Minority Recruitment and Retention in Engineering Education Abstract

According to research nationwide, many students entering college confront developmental challenges and face difficulties while adapting to their new environment and coping with the greater demands of academic life. For minority students, these factors may involve obstacles different than those of their mainstream peers. Minority undergraduate student populations in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics lag significantly behind its representation in the overall population. Data from the U.S. census bureau and other studies indicate the population of African-American and Latinos to be between 12% and 13%, respec- tively. Undergraduate students falling in these groups account for only a small percentage of the undergraduate student population in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These minority student populations have increased slightly over the past decade, but are still significantly underrepresented.

To increase the attraction and retention of minority engineering students, many higher-education institutions have implemented various strategies to help address the academic and social pressures these students may face. The aim of these programs is to make the college experience problem-free and to improve retention rates, particularly of undergraduate students. Various institutions with accredited undergraduate engineering programs have an office or set of programs in place for minority engineering students. Typical programs include both social and academic support mechanisms.

The purpose of this paper is to review the various strategies employed by higher education institutions in recruiting and retaining minorities in engineering education. Some of the strategies reviewed include early exposure of students to engineering topics, advising, student participation in student competitions, teaching tools, recruiting packages, and scholarships.


A college education is an important career move for any young individual whose desires to live the American dream. Such a move, while academic, on the whole has helped provide a foundation for establishing a successful life. While the importance of a college education is preached to young adults, colleges and universities must be one step ahead of their recruitment plan to acquire young minds by increasing and retaining student enrollment in their institutions. Although this task might sound easy, college officers are challenged to find a diverse mixture of students to fill their institutions’ plethora of programs of study. Some of the fields which have difficulties in recruiting and retaining their students are science, mathematics, engineering and technology programs. This challenge is even more prevalent for minority students. After minority students are given the opportunity to attend a college, they are not always given the resources needed to be successful, while in that college.

To increase the attraction and retention of minority engineering students, many higher-education institutions have implemented various strategies designed to address the academic and social

Lovencin, W., & Najafi, F., & Safai, N. (2007, June), A Review Of Strategies Employed On Minority Recruitment And Retention In Engineering Education Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2653

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