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Can an Engineering Summer Bridge Program Effectively Transition Underrepresented Minority Students Leading to Increased Student Success?

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Collection

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Summer and Cohort Programs for Minorities: Student Success

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

24.251.1 - 24.251.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20142

Download Count

38

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Paper Authors

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Darryl Dickerson Purdue University

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Freddy Solis Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Freddy Solis is a doctoral candidate in the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He holds a civil engineering degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Mexico, and M.Sc. in civil engineering and MBA degrees from Purdue University. His research focuses on innovation, design, entrepreneurship, and engineering education.

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Virginia Booth Womack Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Tasha Zephirin Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Tasha Zephirin is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She is currently a participant in the National Science Foundation sponsored Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training in Magnetic and Nanostructured Materials (IGERT-MNM) program—a collaborative effort between Purdue University, Cornell University and Norfolk State University. Her research interests include the development, evaluation, and assessment of co-curricular and extra-curricular STEM programs to diverse audiences across the education continuum (e.g. community members, K-12 students, undergraduate students, graduate students, and industry professionals) in varying contexts.

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Carol S. Stwalley Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Carol S Stwalley is the Recruitment and Retention Analyst at the Purdue University Minority Engineering Program. She holds a doctorate from the Purdue School of Agricultural and Biological Engineering specializing in aquacultural engineering. She has worked to increase underrepresented populations at Purdue since 2000. She is also the President of Paradocs Enterprises, Inc. which has been involved in developing two waste-to-energy processes.

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Abstract

Can an engineering summer bridge program demonstrate effectively transition underrepresented minority students leading to increased student success? A pilot studyMany approaches have been utilized to address gaps in retention and graduation rates betweenunderrepresented minority (URMs) students and majority students in engineering programs. The rootcause of such disparities varies between institutions. At selective institutions, all students have alreadymet academic qualifications and have demonstrated strong potential for success. However, while thetransition from high school to college poses risks for all students, research has indicated that URMs whoare otherwise academically prepared are particularly at risk at this leverage point. In 2005, to addresstransition issues for URM in student success, a minority program in a large selective Midwesternuniversity launched a five-week summer bridge program to simulate the rigor of the first semester ofthe freshman engineering curriculum. This transition-focused program was designed to prepareincoming URM freshmen engineering students for the cultural shift from high school to competition at aglobal institution.This study quantitatively and qualitatively examines the effect of this summer bridge program on theURM transition by examining participants’ confidence about college and sense of belonging ascompared to a control group. In addition, this paper will present an initial analysis of 5 cohorts of URMstudents who participated from 2005 – 2009. This quantitative study will compare the first yearretention rates of these URM students, by cohort, with two groups: (1) URMs that did not participate inthe bridge program and (2) the remainder of the cohort. This work is the first step towards a rigorousanalysis of how socio-academic acclimatization to our University affects success of URMs in engineeringand how these analyses can inform the development of our student programs.

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: © 2014 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