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Effect Of Personal Contact In Improving The Outcome Of Minority Engineering Students

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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

Trends in ME Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.502.1 - 9.502.8



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Paper Authors

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Showkat Chowdhury

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

Effect of Personal Contact in Improving the Outcome of Minority Engineering Students Dr. Showkat J. Chowdhury, Dr. Ruben Rojas-Oviedo Mechanical Engineering Department, Alabama A&M University P.O. Box 1163, Huntsville, AL 35762 Voice: (256)-372-8401, Email:


The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has set up some criteria, which the graduates of all accredited engineering programs must satisfy. In addition to the ABET requirement, the Mechanical Engineering (ME) program at Alabama A&M University has been designed to meet some additional requirements by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The Faculty at Alabama A&M University adopted the SEAARK teaching method. SEAARK stands for Knowledge, Repetition, Application, Analysis, Evaluation and Synthesis in reverse order. In the past few years, mapping of course contents to SEAARK teaching methods and above- mentioned ABET and additional ME program criteria has been completed. Outcome based course assessment tools have also been identified and mapped.

This paper studies the effect of personal level contact by Faculty with the students, especially minority black students. A case study is presented using the data for Thermodynamics course. The course contents are mapped to the above mentioned ABET and additional criteria. The outcome is measured and compared using the above mentioned assessment tools. Black engineering students are highly under-represented with respect to all engineering students and percentage of their population. It is shown that, frequent faculty-student contact in and out of class, expressing faculty concern about the students problems, especially those who miss class frequently, trying to help with their studies, sharing experiences and attitudes with the students, help these students to get through their rough or difficult times and move forward to achieve their career goals. The percentage increase of student overall learning performance due to personal contact, measured using the above outcome assessment tools, in turn demonstrates the percentage increase in satisfying the ABET criteria, the desired goal. Personal contact also improves student retention and will help to increase the percentage of minority black engineers in future.

1. Background

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU), a historically black university, reflects the uniqueness of the traditional land-grant institution, which combines professional, vocational and liberal arts pursuits. The University provides baccalaureate and graduate studies that are compatible with the times to all qualified, capable individuals who are interested in further developing their technical, professional,

Chowdhury, S. (2004, June), Effect Of Personal Contact In Improving The Outcome Of Minority Engineering Students Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14116

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