June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Minorities in Engineering
The study conducted by three researchers with the Center for International Business Education and Research found that almost 40% of U.S. companies surveyed missed international business opportunities because of a lack of internationally competent personnel. Given that 95% of consumers live outside of the United States it is important for students to gain international experience (Daniel, Xie, & Kedia, 2014). With those numbers in mind, the National Academy of Engineering states that a core need for engineers is to be able to work with a diverse, multinational, multidisciplinary workforce. Therefore, engineering colleges must develop strategies that provide global perspectives and international experiences to help their graduates excel in this new world order (Borri, Guberti, & Melsa, 2007).
Research abroad, internship abroad, and study abroad, are some of the ways universities have found to provide a global perspective to students. However not all of the students can afford to have a study/research abroad experience, especially first generation, low income, minority students.
To increase the number of students participating in research and studying abroad - more specifically low-income, first generation underrepresented minority students, the college of engineering of a large land-grant university from the South partnered with the Office for Higher Education of one of the states in Mexico and launched in 2015 the first year of the Engineering Learning Community Introduction to Research for Regents’ Scholars. For the first year of the program, seventeen low-income, underrepresented minority and first generation students were selected. For the second year of the program, 48 low incoming, underrepresented minority first generation were selected.
This program had three goals: (1) to expose raising sophomore students early on in their careers to research, (2) to immerse students in cultural and global research setting to maximize retention in engineering, and (3) to start to develop on students a global mindset and global competencies. The program started with a 2 weeks trip to Yucatan where students took an introduction to research course and visited research sites. After that, the program continued with an online learning community where students were guided on how to write a research proposal. The program was concluded with a poster session where students presented their research proposal to a group of faculty members, peer students and administrators of the college of engineering.
This paper presents how the program was implemented, the outcomes of the program and the impact on the students based on the analyses of a pre and two post surveys. The focus of this paper is on the retention as a result of this program.
Garcia, S. J., & Alves , M. C., & Pariyothorn, M., & Myint, A., & Hardman, A. K. (2017, June), ELCIR – Engineering Learning Community Introduction to Research: A research and global experience program supporting first generation low incoming underrepresented minority students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28209
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