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Building A Bridge For Students To Transition From High School To College

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Programs for High School Students

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.293.1 - 11.293.13



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Paper Authors

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P. Ruby Mawasha Wright State University


Kumar Yelamarthi Wright State University

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KUMAR YELAMARTHI is a Ph.D. student. He holds the MSEE from Wright State University. He serves as the lead Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Freshman Engineering and Computer Science Program. He was honored as the most outstanding graduate student in 2004, outstanding graduate teaching assistant in 2005 and is an author on ten papers.
His research focus is VLSI and engineering education.

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Paul Lam University of Akron

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Paul C. Lam is the Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Studies and Minority Affairs in the University of Akron. He holds a PhD from the University of Akron. He has received numerous honors including ASME fellow, Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Tau, Sigma Pi Sigma, Tau Beta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa. His research interests include minority engineering education, pre-college STEM programs, structural dynamics & finite element analysis.

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

Building a Bridge for Students to Transition from High-School to Engineering Curriculum

Abstract The Wright Science, Technology and Engineering Preparatory Program was initiated in 1988 to develop the education in science for the youth in city public schools which are mostly comprised of first-generation college and economically challenged students. The participating students upon successful completion of the program requirements while in 10th grade are awarded full-tuition scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree of their choice at our university. These high-school seniors while in 12th grade attend a series of workshops designed to aid students in having a smooth transition to college. After these students graduate from high-school, in the summer they also attend a mentoring program designed to prepare them as mentors and role-models. Upon completion of the mentoring program, students participate in a week long academic advantage program to hone their math skills required for the first year of college. This paper presents in detail the model implemented along with our observations and findings.

Introduction Ethnic minorities, especially African Americans, remain underrepresented in a number of occupations, including those which are identified as high-technology areas. Engineering is one such area where African Americans and other minorities (defined here as Hispanics and Native Americans) have been traditionally underrepresented1.

In the United States, 12.6% of all the first professional degrees awarded in 2001 are to underrepresented minorities2. Also, 15.7% of the bachelor degrees awarded in science and engineering are to underrepresented minorities2. This has increased compared to the year 19921. However the overall number of first professional degrees awarded has not increased but decreased from 35.2% in 1966 to 31.8% in 20013. This demonstrates a need for greater efforts to train more students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Literature review has shown that some of the hurdles in this process are, i) insufficient awareness of the programs in the underrepresented minorities; ii) lack of role-models; iii) lack of self-efficacy; iv) lack of social support.

Our university has initiated the Wright Science, Technology, and Engineering Preparatory Program (Wright STEPP) for the underrepresented minorities in the year 1988, and has been successful in reaching its goal of increasing the number of students entering college. In the process of continuous improvement to the Wright STEPP, the Wright Engineering Bridge (WEB) program was initiated in 2003, which is the main focus of this paper. Every year the WEB program is administered through collaboration of our university, Wright Patterson Air- Force Base (WPAFB), city public schools and the corporate local industries.

Wright STEPP The necessity to support the education of youth underrepresented has been in existence since the late 1980’s. Our university identified this early in time and initiated the Wright STEPP in 1988 to provide academic enrichment and tuition scholarship to students of the city public

Mawasha, P. R., & Yelamarthi, K., & Lam, P. (2006, June), Building A Bridge For Students To Transition From High School To College Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--618

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015