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Attracting and Retaining a Diverse Cohort of Engineering Majors: Building a Program from the Ground Up

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Jenna P. Carpenter Campbell University

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Dr. Carpenter is Founding Dean of Engineering at Campbell University. She is Chair of the ASEE Long-Rangge Planning Committee and the ASEE Strategic Doing Governance Team. She is a past Vice President of Professional Interest Councils for ASEE and past President of WEPAN. Currently Chair of the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program Steering Committee and an ASEE PEV for General Engineering, Dr. Carpenter regularly speaks at the national level on issues related to the success of women in engineering and innovative STEM curricula.

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Lee Kemp Rynearson Campbell University

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Lee Rynearson an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Campbell University. He received a B.S. and M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008 and earned his PhD in Engineering Education from Purdue University in 2016. He also has previous experience as an instructor of engineering at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology, in Kanazawa, Japan. His current research interests focus on instruction for metacognition and problem solving.

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Lynn A. Albers Campbell University

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Dr. Lynn Albers is a proponent of Hands-On Activities in the classroom and during out-of-school time programs. She believes that they complement any teaching style thereby reaching all learning styles. She just recently earned her doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University where her research spanned three colleges and focused on Engineering Education. Her passions include but are not limited to Engineering Education and Energy Engineering. Lynn is currently an Assistant Professor in the newly founded School of Engineering at Campbell University.

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Michele Miller Campbell University

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In Fall 2016, Campbell University welcomed its first cohort of engineering majors, the culmination of fourteen months of planning and recruiting. Building a new school of engineering affords a number of unique opportunities, including the chance to develop an engineering program based on best practices, engineering education research, and the recommendations of national reports such as "Educating the Engineer of 2020," among others. Central to starting a new engineering program is crafting a unique business case, complete with a marketing and recruiting plan designed to attract a cohort of students willing to partner with the faculty and staff to create the communicated vision. In this paper, we identify the key obstacles to attracting a diverse cohort of students to a new program, along with the evidence-based strategies used to tackle those obstacles in recruiting for the new engineering program. We report on the diversity of both our newly admitted students and the students transferring into engineering from other schools in the university. We will also report on retention efforts, derived from best practices, and enrollment data at the end of the first semester, as well as examining an early snapshot of the diversity of our second year of entering students.

Carpenter, J. P., & Rynearson, L. K., & Albers, L. A., & Miller, M. (2017, June), Attracting and Retaining a Diverse Cohort of Engineering Majors: Building a Program from the Ground Up Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27646

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