June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Women in Engineering
14.172.1 - 14.172.16
An Academic Scholarship Program for Transfer Students in Engineering and Computer Science: A Five Year Summary Mary R. Anderson-Rowland Arizona State University
Each year the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering accepts 300 transfer students, most of whom come from local community colleges (CCs). These students face a big adjustment when transferring to the largest student enrollment campus in the nation. Traditionally, little has been done to assist transfer students with the transfer process and to help them be retained after they have matriculated to a university such as Arizona State University (ASU). In addition to adjusting to another academic system, most transfer students work, some close to full-time. Also many transfer students are females or underrepresented minority students. These particular transfer students may face additional barriers when transferring to a larger institution.
This academic scholarship program for transfer students was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the CSEMS program (Proposal # 0324212). This successful program ran from 2003-2008 with 76 students and over a 92% retention and graduation rate in engineering and computer science. This paper will give summary statistics for the program including demographics, retention and graduation rates, and the percentage of transfer students who have gone on to graduate school. Diversity was an emphasis and 67% of the students in the program were either female or an underrepresented minority. Based on surveys of the students, the program highlights will be described. The program featured academic workshops and assignments in addition to scholarships. The workshops and assignments were all designed to help the students become a more complete engineer as well as to inform them of the opportunities available for research, internships, graduate school, and jobs after graduation. The students received instruction on resumes, interviews, recommendation letters, portfolios, and consulting. In addition, students learned about graduate school from panels of graduate students and engineers from industry with graduate degrees.
The paper will also discuss the primary lessons learned over 5 years and areas that could be improved. In particular, we will note how the women fared in this program. The program is being continued with an S-STEM NSF grant.
Arizona State University (ASU) is now the largest single university in the United States with over 67,000 students on four campuses and also has the largest single campus, its Tempe campus, with over 53,000 students. Tempe is a neighbor city to Phoenix, the fourth largest city in the United States. The University is set in a valley of high tech manufacturers and over 4 million people. Also set in this valley is one of the nation’s largest community college district system, the Maricopa County Community College
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