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Enhancing Underrepresented Student Opportunities Through Faculty Mentoring And Peer Interactions

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.262.1 - 3.262.13

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Paper Authors

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Gary D. Keller

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Fred Begay

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Antonio A. Garcia

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Albert L. McHenry

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


Enhancing Underrepresented Student Opportunities Through Faculty Mentoring and Peer Interactions

Antonio A. Garcia, Gary D. Keller, Albert McHenry Arizona State University

Fred Begay Los Alamos National Laboratory

During the past seven years, an alliance of colleges and universities within Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Western Texas along with professional organizations, government laboratories, educational organizations, and corporations has been committed to one of the most challenging goals in higher education: increasing the number of African American, American Indian, and Hispanic bachelor degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. This alliance, known as the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO), has relied heavily on engaging students in academic and research activities outside the classroom involving science and engineering faculty and student peers in order to improve retention and increase graduation rates of underrepresented students.

Over the past six years we have had 4,251 student participations within our alliance activities which include: (1) peer study groups; (2) summer bridge programs; (3) faculty-directed undergraduate students research; and (4) graduate preparation, mentorships, and research conference participations. In order to provide such a large number of student participations, our alliance calls upon over 500 resource individuals at 75 campuses and organizations where approximately 85% are scientists, engineers, and other faculty, and 15% are administrators. This paper will present our strategies for: (1) engaging science and engineering faculty and students in these activities which depends upon inter-institutional cooperation; (2) documentation of student information and student outcomes; and (3) institutionalization of these activities through the use of the Internet and through faculty development.


During 1991-1996 our Phase I alliance, sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation through the Alliances for Minority Participation (AMP) program, exceeded our stated goal by more than doubling the annual rate of underrepresented minority SMET (science, mathematics, engineering, and technology) baccalaureate production. In Phase II, begun in 1997, our alliance has set the goal of again doubling the annual rate of underrepresented SMET baccalaureate production from a baseline of 702 to 1,404 by the year 2001 After the first year of Phase II for the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities, we exceeded our first year goal of

Keller, G. D., & Begay, F., & Garcia, A. A., & McHenry, A. L. (1998, June), Enhancing Underrepresented Student Opportunities Through Faculty Mentoring And Peer Interactions Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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