June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Creating a Successful Pathway to Graduate Studies: The Student Integrated Intern Research Experience (SIIRE)
Keywords: Graduate Studies, SIIRE, Diversity, Intern, Research, Financial Need, Engineering Graduate School Pipeline, Undergraduate Engineering Education, Enrichment Activities, Ethics, NSF, S-STEM
For the health of the engineering profession and the nation, increasing the number and diversity of engineering students going on to graduate studies is imperative. The Student Integrated Intern Research Experience (SIIRE) is successfully addressing this situation, supporting students from undergraduate through graduate school. SIIRE recruits a diverse group of first-year students to begin in SIIRE in their sophomore year and provides enrichment activities geared toward creating awareness plus developing interest and providing logistical information about graduate school. For example, workshops include topics on developing research skills, general graduate school information, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), research ethics and professionalism, and communicating research. Additional workshops are geared toward undergraduate student retention for expanding the pool of potential graduate students. Faculty mentor the students in developing graduate school applications their senior year. Students are also provided tools to help them obtain internships and undergraduate research experiences. All SIIRE students have financial need, and scholarships are provided through an NSF S-STEM grant.
SIIRE is extremely successful. Of the SIIRE BS graduates to date, over 90% attributed SIIRE for increasing their awareness of graduate school. 85% attributed SIIRE with increasing their awareness of the importance of completing their engineering degree, and half said it was an important factor in actually completing their degree. 92% responded that after participating in SIIRE they are more likely to encourage others to attend graduate school. Of SIIRE BS graduates, 45% continued with graduate school compared to the college of engineering (COE) average of 17%. SIIRE is successful in creating a diverse pool of participants with 49% from minority populations and females make up 42%, which is approximately double the rate for each group in the engineering college. Of those SIIRE graduates continuing on to graduate school, 29% are minority and 36% are female. SIIRE had success in students engaging in internships (48%) and undergraduate research (74%), and 39% have both an internship and research experience.
This paper will provide details about the SIIRE program and activities, share a program evaluation, discuss lessons learned and examine the future of the program.
Gattis, C. S., & Rossetti, M. D., & Needy, K. L., & Clausen, E. C., & Lo, W. (2019, June), Creating a Successful Pathway to Graduate Studies: The Student Integrated Intern Research Experience (SIIRE) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32558
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