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Designing Our Community (Doc) A Program To Recruit And Retain Native American Students In Engineering

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering/Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.393.1 - 9.393.9



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Paper Authors

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Heidi Sherick

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

Session #3470

Designing Our Community (DOC): A Program to Recruit and Retain American Indian Students in Engineering

Heidi M. Sherick, Sheree J. Watson

College of Engineering Montana State University – Bozeman P.O. Box 173820 Bozeman, MT 59717-3820


Increasing diversity in the workforce remains a formidable challenge for engineering and related professions. The purpose of the Hewlett Designing Our Community (DOC) Program in the College of Engineering at Montana State University is to increase the recruitment and graduation of American Indians in engineering and computer science. The Designing Our Community program seeks to expose potential American Indian students to the challenge and excitement of engineering and hopes to create a model for serving rural, American Indian students in the attainment of their professional goals. The College of Engineering builds on a broad array of campus wide American Indian support programs. These programs collaborate regularly regarding recruitment on reservations, advising students, program promotion, tribal college relations, and funding availability. The collaboration strengthens the DOC program and has provided a boost in American Indian enrollment and graduation rates overall at Montana State University.

This paper focuses on program components of DOC that address specific goals of American Indian recruitment and retention. The first goal is to increase the motivation and pre-entry academic preparation of American Indian students. The second goal is to help shape the engineering, engineering technology, and computer science workforce by increasing the number of students graduating in engineering. The third goal is to improve access to quality engineering and technology for rural and underserved American Indian populations and to return educated professionals to their communities.


Several complementary factors come together to give impetus to the COE Designing Our Community (DOC) Program and make the timing compelling: the growing momentum for broadening college level diversity programs, a larger institutional commitment to improve

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Sherick, H. (2004, June), Designing Our Community (Doc) A Program To Recruit And Retain Native American Students In Engineering Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13413

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