July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Minorities in Engineering
It is well known that there exists a gap in academic performance between the underrepresented groups and the majority of engineering students. Closing this gap is more challenging in the sophomore year due to a well-known phenomenon in college education known as “sophomore slump”, which is more common among minority and underrepresented students and requires institutional efforts to help the students adjust in the sophomore year. In this paper, we present a research project funded by a Student Engagement, Retention, and Success (SERS) grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents. The goal of the project is to improve the GPA and retention rate of underrepresented and minority students by engaging them in a summer research and enrichment program. The project was carried out in Summer 2020. Compared with similar activities in the literature, our program has the following unique features: (1) Low floor, wide walls, and high ceiling; (2) Collaborative learning in a cross-disciplinary setting; (3) Hands-on and real-world oriented; and (4) It was offered online instead of face-to-face. Based on student survey results and Fall 2020 retention rate, the summer program is very successful. This paper explains in details the motivation of the research project, how the students were recruited, the preparation done by the PI and co-PI, how the topics of the student projects were selected, how the students collaborated remotely, the assessment methods, measurable outcomes, and challenges and lessons learned during the process.
Miao, L., & Li, C. (2021, July), Engaging Minority and Underrepresented Engineering Students to Fight “Sophomore Slump” Through a Summer Research and Enrichment Program (Research) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37046
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