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Engineering Pathways Fellows: Four Years of Successful Retention Initiatives, Including International Collaboration

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

International Educational Experiences (2)

Tagged Division

International

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

23

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28259

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28259

Download Count

186

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Paper Authors

biography

Amy L. Freeman Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Dr. Amy L. Freeman holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering and a Ph.D. in Workforce Education. She has a been a practitioner of retention programming for over two decades and is a member of several organizations and networks that support her research interest: access and inclusion to STEM education. She is the primary PI for the NSF sponsored S-STEM award, "Engineering Pathways: An Undergraduate Scholars Program." Dr. Freeman is currently serving as Assistant Dean in the College of Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University and continues to provide administrative direction for the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion through cultivation of partnerships with corporations, alumni, university constituents and organizational alliances.

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Julio Urbina Pennsylvania State University, University Park Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6281-4905

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JULIO V. URBINA, Ph.D is an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Penn State. His educational research interests include effective teaching techniques for enhancing engineering education, global engineering and international perspectives, thinking and working in multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary ways, cyberlearning and cyber-environments, service and experiential learning, teaming and collaborative learning.

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Sarah E. Zappe Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Dr. Sarah Zappe is Research Associate and Director of Assessment and Instructional Support in the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State. She holds a doctoral degree in educational psychology emphasizing applied measurement and testing. In her position, Sarah is responsible for developing instructional support programs for faculty, providing evaluation support for educational proposals and projects, and working with faculty to publish educational research. Her research interests primarily involve creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship education.

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Javier Fernando Del Carpio Universidad ESAN

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Dr. Javier Fernando Del Carpio was born in 1955 in Lima, Peru. He received his professional degree in Industrial engineering in 1979 from Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, his MBA in 1982 from ESAN, School of Business, and his Master’s degree in Finance in 1985 from Northern Illinois University. Also, he completed his doctoral degree in Industrial Engineering in 2011 from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Administration at La Salle University, Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Javier Fernando Del Carpio is Dean of the College of Engineering at Universidad ESAN in Lima Peru.

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Nancy Matos P.E. Esan University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1356-437X

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Nancy Matos, PhD. is Vice president of Academic Affairs at ESAN University and Director of doctoral program. She makes research in Innovation and Intellectual property rights, my special field is consumer behavior and market research. She is interested in the innovation for high education.

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Abstract

The graduation rate in engineering can be correlated to several factors, including race and gender. Nationally, the populations with the highest engineering graduation rates are majority males, with Asian males at 66.5% and Caucasian males at 59.7%. The goal of diversity and inclusion program practitioners is to establish parity in graduation rates for all populations. There are several interventions that are proven to increase the retention and graduation of underrepresented students in engineering. Some of these include math intensive summer bridging, tutoring, cohort building where students establish a learning community. Singly these are somewhat effective, but when multiple interventions are applied over multiple years, the effect is additive and there is a significant increase in the likelihood of graduation. Outside of traditional applications, there other interventions that are shown to be effective on student retention, but they are not typically applied to underrepresented students. One of these is international scholarship, or study abroad experiences.

The research question addressed by this project is the following: While long term applications of traditional retention programming for underrepresented students yield graduation rates at parity or exceeding that of majority males, could the graduation rate be even higher with the addition of a scholarly international experience, an intervention not typically applied to underrepresented populations?

In this study, traditional interventions were applied to 10 students at Anonymous University (all underrepresented in engineering by race or gender) over a four year period. In addition, an international or study abroad experience was added. Interventions were applied addressing four known variables that increase retention: financial support, math and academic preparation, the learning community/cohort building, and international education. Three objectives or expected outcomes of this project were:

1. Increased retention and graduation rates of participating students in STEM fields. 2. Improved programs and strategies for sustaining diversity in STEM fields. 3. Improved access to engineering educational opportunities.

The quantitative measure of success for the NSF Pathways project is determined by the retention and graduation rate of the students in STEM fields at the end of five years. The current four-year retention rate for these students in 2017 was at 100%. The graduation rate of these ten students who completed all interventions is also expected to be at 100% in a STEM field, with 90% in engineering. Qualitative data through focus groups and essays indicated the importance of building a strong learning community, and the added impact of international scholarly collaboration.

Freeman, A. L., & Urbina, J., & Zappe, S. E., & Del Carpio, J. F., & Matos, N. (2017, June), Engineering Pathways Fellows: Four Years of Successful Retention Initiatives, Including International Collaboration Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28259

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