June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Minorities in Engineering
26.251.1 - 26.251.15
Assessing the Impact of Research Experiences on the Success of Underrepresented Community College Engineering StudentsAbstractXXXXXXXXXX, a Hispanic-Serving community college in California’s Silicon Valley attractsa large number of students from traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering. Althoughmany of these students enter with high levels of interest in engineering, their success andcompletion rates have been low due to a number of factors including low levels of preparationfor college-level work, especially in math; lack of awareness of academic and career options;lack of financial, academic, social and cultural capital needed for success; and lack of self-efficacy, i.e., students do not believe that they can succeed in engineering. To address thesebarriers to student success, XXXXXXXXXX developed and implemented a number of programsto keep students engaged and motivated towards achieving their academic goals. Among suchprograms is the Creating Opportunities for Minorities in Engineering, Technology, and Science(COMETS) program. Funded by a four-year grant from NASA through the CurriculumImprovements Partnership Award for the Integration of Research (CIPAIR) program, COMETSwas developed through a collaboration with YYYYYYYYYY – a large, comprehensive, urbanuniversity. The program aims to help students develop the skills they need for academic success,as well as provide exposure to the major fields of engineering in order to help solidify theirparticular areas of interest. Among the strategies developed through COMETS is a summerinternship program designed specifically for community college engineering students. During theten-week internship program, 16 freshmen and sophomore community college students aredivided in to four research groups based on their academic interests and academic preparations.Each group consists of four interns, one full-time intern (a student who has completed most ofthe courses needed for transfer) and three half-time interns, and is supervised by a universityfaculty adviser and a graduate student mentor.This paper presents the results of four years of implementation of the COMETS internshipprogram, including the outcomes of the research activities of the participants and their perceptionof their research experiences. The paper will also discuss the impact of the program onstrengthening students' identity as engineers and researchers; increasing student interest tofurther engage in research activities; and enhancing student self-efficacy for successfullytransferring to a four-year university, completing a baccalaureate degree in engineering, andpursuing a graduate degree. It will also highlight lessons learned and future plans for theprogram, as well as best practices that are useful to other institutions in developing similarprograms.
Enriquez, A. G., & Pong, W., & Shahnasser, H., & Mahmoodi, H., & Chen, C., & Zhang, X., & Teh, K. S., & Langhoff, N. (2015, June), Assessing the Impact of Research Experiences on the Success of Underrepresented Community College Engineering Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23591
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