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An Iterative Process to Assess and Optimize Diversity Programming

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division: Strategies Beyond the Classroom

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.203.1 - 26.203.16



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Paper Authors


Beverly Louie University of Colorado, Boulder

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Beverly Louie is the Director for teaching and learning initiatives in the Broadening Opportunities through Leadership and Diversity (BOLD) Center in CU’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from CU, and a D.Phil. in mechanical engineering from the University of Oxford, England. Louie’s research interests are in the areas of engineering student retention and performance, teaching effectiveness, and collaborative learning.

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Amanda S. Parker University of Colorado, Boulder

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Amanda S. Parker is the Director of Access and Recruiting at the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and is a graduate student in the Engineering Management Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her interests are in broadening participation in engineering.

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Beth A. Myers University of Colorado Boulder

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Beth A. Myers is the engineering assessment specialist for the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. She holds a BA in biochemistry, ME in engineering management and is currently a PhD candidate studying engineering education at the College of Engineering and Applied Science. She has worked for the University of Colorado in various capacities for 16 years, including as a program manager for a small medical research center and most recently as Director of Access and Recruiting for the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Her interests are in quantitative and qualitative research and data analysis.

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An Iterative Process to Assess and Optimize Diversity ProgrammingMany engineering colleges are dedicated to creating an inclusive and diverse student population.These colleges offer a variety of recruitment and retention programs, including variations onmulticultural and/or women in engineering programs. Many assessments from these types ofprograms are of the “short and sweet” variety, namely, pre- and post-assessments to captureinformation on the immediate impact of an event or program on the mindset of students as itrelates to their consideration of engineering as a career option or the likelihood of staying inengineering.At a large western university, a unified diversity program called XXXXXXXX has hostednumerous programs that are similar in nature to their collegiate counterparts. A difference frommany is that XXXXXXX approaches the assessment of its diversity and inclusion programsmuch like a research problem using the iterative, engineering design loop. In this context, the“problems” include the overarching objectives or goals such as increasing the number andrepresentation of diverse students in the college, creating an inclusive climate, and increasing thelikelihood of diverse students graduating from engineering. Reviewing the literature for bestpractices and research results are the pieces of collected information used to develop programsand initiatives that are offered to students as a means to meet our stated objectives.These initiatives include:  Recruitment events and proactive admissions practices  Scholarship awards  Community-building events, student society activities and other professional development resources  Academic support initiatives that include drop-in tutoring and calculus workgroups  Next-tier and pre-engineering with unique entry criteria and curricular plansEach year these initiatives are evaluated from several perspectives. Usage numbers with detaileddemographics illustrate if the desired audiences have been reached. If not, new strategies areincluded in the next offering to address the previous shortfalls. Performance indicators aretracked over time, and higher level analyses are used to understand the impact, if any, of highschool background, standardized test scores, and placement exams. Costs are tracked todetermine areas to reduce or eliminate, or if extra expenditures are warranted. These analyseshelp XXXXXXXX to implement changes, including eliminating ineffective programs andpractices.

Louie, B., & Parker, A. S., & Myers, B. A. (2015, June), An Iterative Process to Assess and Optimize Diversity Programming Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23542

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