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Effect Of Pre Freshman Program On Minority 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

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.503.1 - 9.503.6

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Paper Authors

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Keshav Varde

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

Session 1794

Effects of Pre-Freshman Program for Minority Students in Engineering

Keshav S. Varde College of Engineering and Computer Science University of Michigan-Dearborn Dearborn, Michigan


The College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn decided in early 1990s to increase, retain and graduate more minority students than in years before. A study was conducted to determine specific areas in engineering programs that impacted students’ success; it revealed that students’ performance in the first two calculus courses and physics were key to their subsequent success in engineering programs. To address this, a summer bridge in mathematics was developed and implemented. This was followed by academic year activities in tutoring and collaborative learning in key freshman and sophomore year courses. Most of these activities were initially funded through a NSF-AMP coalition grant but are now institutionalized through other sources. This report highlights the positive impact of the 4-week summer bridge program and academic year activities on the retention and graduation of minority students in engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.


Since the early 1980s there have been significant interests and efforts to recruit underrepresented minority students in engineering and technology areas. These efforts were the results of several fundamental changes that occurred in the late 70s and 80s and policies that were enacted at the federal and state levels. Some of these were:

• Concerns about the demand for engineers in the U.S. to outpace their supply. There was also a need to maintain or increase enrollment in engineering and technology areas. These disciplines saw some of the largest drop in undergraduate enrollment; the total undergraduate enrollment of full-time and part-time students decreased by over 8% between 1988 and 1997 [1,2]. • Minorities and women would represent a significant portion of new workforce in the U.S. by early part of 21st century [3]. • The influx of large amount of federal and corporate funding that have supported students of diverse background to purse technical higher education • The social and ethical responsibilities of colleges and universities to provide access and support to students of color and diverse background.

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

Varde, K. (2004, June), Effect Of Pre Freshman Program On Minority Students In Engineering Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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