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Attracting Minorities To Engineering Careers: Addressing The Challenges From K 12 To Postsecondary Education

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Marketing Engineering as a Career Path to URMs

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

14.265.1 - 14.265.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4786

Download Count

11

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Paper Authors

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Jonathan Lambright Savannah State University

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Wayne Johnson Armstrong Atlantic State University

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Cameron Coates Armstrong Atlantic State University

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

ATTRACTING MINORITIES TO ENGINEERING CAREERS: ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES FROM K-12 TO POST SECONDARY EDUCATION

Abstract

As minority engineering educators at the undergraduate level, the authors of this paper are acutely in tune to the issues of attracting minority students to and graduating them from engineering curriculums. There is a definite challenge in the recruitment and retention of quality minority students in the engineering disciplines. It is time to address these challenges in truth and offer solutions that help to address the root causes of current problems. This paper looks at the two divisions of a students’ academic career that have the most impact upon their undergraduate success; that is their k-12 foundational education and their first two years in college as an undergraduate. These two divisions are not mutually exclusive nor are they unaffected by outside influences.

There are specifically three challenges that need be addressed if we are to seriously make an impact on attracting minorities to engineering careers. The solutions of which must come from a team of agents and processes, acting upon the students’ life at decidedly different time intervals and all with a different focus. The first challenge is that of foundational mathematics and science and the critical time frame for the first challenge is that of between 4th and 6th grades. The second challenge is that of instilling a self motivated work ethic towards learning and the critical time frame is ideally 9th grade but no later than the beginning of the 11th grade. The third challenge is that of financial accountability and the critical time frame is from freshman through sophomore years at the undergraduate level. This paper peers into these real challenges of attracting minority students to engineering careers and offers the seeds for implementing solution plans. If a plan is formulated to address these challenges at the correct time frame, then not only will we be able to attract a greater pool of quality minority students to engineering but we will be producing better students overall.

Introduction

There are specifically three challenges that need be addressed if we are to seriously make an impact on attracting minorities to engineering careers. The solutions of which must come from a team of agents and processes, acting upon the students’ life at decidedly different time intervals and all with a different focus. The first challenge is that of foundational mathematics and science and the critical time frame for the first challenge is that of between 4th and 6th grades. The second challenge is that of instilling a self motivated work ethic towards learning and the critical time frame is ideally 9th grade but no later than the beginning of the 11th grade. The third challenge is that of financial accountability and the critical time frame is from freshman through sophomore years at the undergraduate level. This paper peers into these real challenges of attracting minority students to engineering careers and offers the seeds for implementing solution plans. If a plan is formulated to address these challenges at the correct time frame, then not only will we be able to attract a greater pool of quality minority students to engineering but we will be producing better students overall.

Lambright, J., & Johnson, W., & Coates, C. (2009, June), Attracting Minorities To Engineering Careers: Addressing The Challenges From K 12 To Postsecondary Education Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4786

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