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A STEM Transfer and Retention Program at Texas A&M International University

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Enhancing the Underrepresented Student Experience

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.108.1 - 24.108.16



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Paper Authors


Fernando Garcia Gonzalez Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Fernando Gonzalez joined FGCU as an assistant professor in the computer engineering program in the fall of 2013. Previously he was an assistant professor within the engineering, math, and physics department at Texas A&M International University in Laredo. Prior to that he was a technical staff member (researcher) for the U.S. Department of Energy at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Dr. Gonzalez was also a faculty member in the electrical and computer engineering department of the University of Central Florida, where he founded and directed the Robotics Laboratory and was also a member of the faculty senate. Dr. Gonzalez graduated from the University of Illinois in 1997 with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. He received his master’s degree in electrical engineering and his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Florida International University in 1992 and 1989, respectively. Dr. Gonzalez has numerous conference and journal publications. His research interests includes the intelligent control of large-scale autonomous systems, autonomous vehicles, discrete-event modeling and simulation, and human signature verification.

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Gerardo Javier Pinzon PE Texas A&M International University

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Mr. Pinzon is the STEM adviser and laboratory manager at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). He currently is pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Texas A&M University, Kingsville (TAMUK), where he earned a master of environmental engineering degree. Mr. Pinzon, a professional engineer licensed in the state of Texas, has a master of business administration from TAMIU and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin.

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A STEM Transfer and Retention Program at ___ University This paper presents a program funded by the Department of Education aimed attransferring and retaining highly motivated Hispanic students into our new Bachelors ofScience in System Engineering Program at ___ University (_U) in __, __. _U initiatedwith only a Pre-Engineering program as an articulation agreement with __U at __.Students from this area did not have the opportunity to attend a local engineering schoolwith the nearest school being 150 miles away. _U’s interest is not only in recruitingengineering students from both local high schools and the local community college, butalso in retaining them so they graduate.The workshops were two weeks in duration of full day activities. The first two workshopswere offered during the summer of 2012 and 2013 with 14 Hispanic in 2012 and 22students (21 Hispanic and 1 African-American) in 2013. In the workshop the studentswork in small groups to acquire many skills related to their success in the STEM fieldsand engineering, in particular. Skills include teamwork, research, procurement ofmaterials, problem solving and career planning. While working on mathematics andengineering related projects they also get familiar with _U’s faculty, students, equipmentand other resources available to them. The workshop was enhanced by the supervision,guidance and mentoring by our engineering and mathematics faculty.One major challenge for our program is the limited opportunities available in __ forengineering graduates. To address this issue we added local prominent engineeringspeakers to talk to the students about life as an engineer in __. Regional fieldtrips werealso included to expose the students to the different types engineering industries thatexist in __ as well as in nearby __.The success of this workshop was measured in two methods. One was the survey’sresults, which showed an average response of 4.65 / 5.0 in all of the questions relatedto their experience where 0 is disappointing and 5 is wonderful. In particular, the surveyshows an average response of 4.85 / 5.0 for the workshop’s ability to encourage thestudents to continue to work towards a STEM degree. Secondly, by the increase innumber of students staying in our newly created Bachelor of Science degree rather thantransferring out. 

Gonzalez, F. G., & Pinzon, G. J. (2014, June), A STEM Transfer and Retention Program at Texas A&M International University Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20000

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