June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Two Year College Division
For the past several years institutions of higher education have devoted resources towards increasing the number and diversity of engineering graduates by addressing the retention problem in the first two years of college. One of the strategies being employed in improving undergraduate STEM education is providing students access to research experiences. There are many studies documenting the benefits of research opportunities for undergraduate students including increased student engagement in their education, enhanced research and laboratory skills, improved academic performance, increased student self-efficacy, and increased understanding and interest for their discipline. These studies also show that early and multiple exposures to undergraduate research experiences offer the greatest benefit. However, a recent extensive study of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs shows that the vast majority of these research experiences are provided to junior and senior students. Developing successful research programs is particularly challenging in community colleges, most of which do not have on-going research programs.
This paper is a description of how a small engineering transfer program at a Hispanic-Serving community college in California developed a three-tier research internship program suitable for community college students at different stages of their academic careers. The first part of the program is a two-week program Introduction to Research held during the winter break for students in the beginning stages of their studies. The second part is a ten-week Summer Group Research program for sophomore students who have no previous research experience and have at least one more year of courses to complete at the community college before transfer. The Summer Individual Research program is a ten-week program for rising junior students who have completed all the required lower-division courses for transfer to a four-year university and are transferring in the fall semester following their participation in the program. The paper will highlight the development of partnerships with neighboring universities and research institutions, the results and lessons learned from the pilot implementation of the two summer internship programs, and future plans to improve the programs and maximize their impact in enhancing the academic success of community college engineering students and strengthening community college engineering transfer programs.
Enriquez, A. G., & Langhoff, N. P., & Pong, W., & Mahmoodi, H., & Zhang, X., & Chen, C., & Teh, K. S., & Jiang, Z. (2017, June), Developing a Summer Research Internship Program for Underrepresented Community College Engineering Students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28134
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