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Bridging The Diversity Gap

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

MIND Education Trends

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.271.1 - 10.271.16



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Paper Authors

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Dana Newell

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

Session 3170

Bridging the Diversity Gap: Fours Years of Success

Luis Santos-Rivas, Dana Newell, Mary Anderson-Rowland, Ronald Roedel

Arizona State University


Since 2000, the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering has held an incoming first year student Bridge program in July. This program has averaged a one-year retention rate of 80% or higher for the past four years. This paper will provide information on the Bridge program such as program components and activities.

The MEP SUMMER BRIDGE PROGRAM (SBP) prepares underrepresented ethnic minority students for success in engineering at ASU. The program offers room and board, classroom materials and supplies, and academic scholarships. There is no registration fee to attend. The academic scholarships help to offset the loss of wages for those students who must take two weeks off from work to attend the Program. This two- week academic program provides students the opportunity to reside on campus and to experience university life while attending classes, tours, and working on a group project in their major. The compact two-week schedule helps the students begin to make the adjustment to university life since it is in sharp contrast to the demands made on them in high school. There are no name tags and by the end of the first week all of the students know each other by name and forge friendships that often last for years.

Further, this paper will provide data on persistence rates and graduation rates of all the Summer Bridge Program participants since 2000. It will also provide data on reasons why some of the student left engineering, on where they went, and on their graduation and persistence rates after leaving engineering at ASU.

Key Words: Freshman Retention Program, Minority Engineering Program, Summer Bridge Program, Underrepresented Minorities

I. Introduction

Minority student achievement has been a focus of many educational ethnographies over the past 30 years. There is much interest in understanding why students of minority backgrounds have difficulty succeeding in school at all levels. In his article, “Research Currents: Cultural-Ecological Influences on Minority School Learning”, John Ogbu suggests that one possible solution would be for “teachers and schools to develop programs to enable the children to adopt the more pragmatic model of accommodation without assimilation” [1]. This paper will focus on one such program for minority college students in engineering at Arizona State University.

Newell, D. (2005, June), Bridging The Diversity Gap Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14711

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