June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.490.1 - 7.490.8
Main Menu Session 2270
Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates With Topics Important to American Indian Students
Keith E. Holbert, Khaled A. Nigim, Gerald T. Heydt Arizona State University
An NSF-sponsored research experience for undergraduates (REU) program is described herein. An important objective of this REU program is to encourage retention of American Indian students in the science and engineering disciplines. Originally, the program strategy was to use energy engineering topics of relevance to indigenous peoples. The topic of energy utilization, especially environmental friendly energy utilization, in remote regions appeared be of special interest to Native American students. Over the past two summers, the research topics have been broadened to appeal to the individual interests of the participating students.
For the past three summers the National Science Foundation (NSF) has sponsored an eight-week research experience for undergraduates (REU) program at Arizona State University (ASU). An important objective of the ASU REU program is to encourage retention of American Indian students in the sciences and engineering disciplines. Data indicate that only the 43% of the American Indian students attending higher education institutions are enrolled full time; the graduation rate is 25% and that the first year retention is 45%. When compared to non-Indian students, the rate of studies termination is lower for American Indians. Whereas only 44% of American Indian freshmen either complete their program of studies within one year or returned to school for a second year, the corresponding figure for other groups is 52%.
In view of the high dropout rates and low college enrollment and graduation rates of American Indians compared with all other ethnic groups in the U.S., and the severe under-representation of American Indians in the science and engineering fields, Native professionals in 1977 created the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) that would serve to identify and remove the barriers to academic success for Native students.
In the past, several projects have been developed to introduce American Indian students to academic activities at the college level as well to increase their recruitment and retention rates.[4,5,6] In some cases, these programs have also the associated goal of encouraging the students to pursue careers in natural and social sciences.[7,8,9]
Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education
Heydt, G., & Holbert, K., & Nigim, K. (2002, June), Engineering Research Experience For Undergraduates With Topics Important To American Indian Students Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/11025
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