June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Two Year College Division
26.550.1 - 26.550.10
Discovering How to Get Engineering on the Radar of Community College StudentsAbstractIt is well-known that the US needs more engineers and computer scientists. It is also well-knownthat community colleges (CCs) are a largely unexploited resource for more engineers (this termshall include computer science in this paper). In addition, many female and underrepresentedminority students attend CCs. Many of them are first-generation and low-income studentswithout strong self confidence that they can succeed at a university, let alone succeed inengineering. It is also well-known, and we have shown in our studies, that many of thesestudents do not have engineering on their radar because they know nothing about engineering.Further, our research has shown that although students know little about engineering, they haveconcluded that it is boring and has nothing to do with their lives.As part of an NSF Step grant (#0856834), we make visits to rural CCs to try to get engineeringon the radar screen for CC students to consider as a possible career. We have found that a captiveaudience is the best way to do this, so we visit mathematics, science, and engineering classes toinform or encourage students to study engineering. At the same time we give them advice ontransferring to a university, no matter what their major.On a recent trip in Fall 2014 to a rural CC, we visited nine classrooms and talked with over 165students. In addition to basic demographic data, we asked the students for their opinions onengineering including their interest, their knowledge of engineering, and their myths aboutengineering. The survey was developed using grounded theory. This paper will show the resultsof the survey and, in particular, examine the results by type of class (level of mathematics),gender, and ethnicity. An emphasis in our work has been to encourage females andunderrepresented minority students to consider engineering. The CC we visited has a highHispanic population. By analyzing these results, we will be better able to focus futurepresentations to these populations of students.We will also compare our results with the research that has been done by others in this area,which will be discussed in a literature search included in the paper. We will also compare thesefindings with the results that we have obtained from visiting other rural CCs.
Anderson-Rowland, M. R., & Rodriguez, A. A., & Grierson, A. (2015, June), Discovering How to Get Engineering on the Radar of Community College Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23888
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