June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
24.390.1 - 24.390.23
Developing a Summer Engineering Program for Improving the Preparation and Self-Efficacy of Underrepresented StudentsAbstract:In order to meet current and future demands for engineers needed to retain economiccompetitiveness and innovation capacity of the United States, there is an increasing need to engagestudents from traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering, including women and ethnicminorities. To be successful in expanding the pool of potential engineers, the needs of theseunderrepresented students have to be addressed. A majority of these students have low-levels ofpreparation for college-level course work, especially in math and science, and most have little orno pre-college exposure to the engineering profession. This paper is a description of acollaborative effort between a small community college, a comprehensive urban university and ahighly diverse high school district in the San Francisco Bay Area to increase the interest andimprove the preparation of female and underrepresented high school students in pursuing careersin engineering through a two-week residential summer camp. The Summer Engineering Instituteoffers participants the opportunity to gain insight into the engineering profession and theengineering educational system through a combination of lectures, hands-on laboratory activities,field trips, workshops, panels, and projects. The program also aims to provide students with theskills and resources needed to be successful college students. Among the strategies employed indeveloping the program are emphasizing all the major fields of engineering and the various pathsto an engineering career, including the role of community colleges; targeting first generationstudents and underrepresented minorities; collaborating with high school faculty and staff througha nomination process to identify and select potential students; collaboration among communitycollege and university faculty in developing and implementing the curriculum; engaging industrypartners and engineering professionals; and encouraging family involvement in program activities.Program outcomes assessments include pre- and post-program student surveys that measurestudent interest in pursuing an engineering degree, academic self-efficacy and motivation,attitudes and enthusiasm of participants towards the program activities, knowledge of specificengineering topics, and awareness of resources and skills needed for success in engineering. Afollow-up survey has also been developed to track changes in student attitudes, interests, andeducational plans years after participating in the program. The paper presents the results andlessons learned from five years of implementation of the SEI, and how the program has succeededin promoting interest in engineering among program participants, increasing their self-efficacy instudying engineering, and enhancing success among those who have decided to pursue anengineering degree.
Enriquez, A. G., & Pong, W., & Ozer, N. M., & Mahmoodi, H., & Jiang, H., & Chen, C., & Shahnasser, H., & Rentsch, N. P. (2014, June), Developing a Summer Engineering Program for Improving the Preparation and Self-Efficacy of Underrepresented Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20281
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