New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Two Year College Division
Educators across the State of Texas and nation are engaged in efforts to answer calls including the 2011 President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness goal of 10,000 more engineering students from US colleges and universities each year, the 2012 President’s Council on Science and Technology recommendation for 1 million more STEM degrees in the next decade, and Texas Workforce Commission estimated state projected need of 62,000 more engineers (25% increase) by 2022, developing strategic pathways to increase students, and underrepresented students in particular, achieving STEM degrees is essential (PCJC, 2011; PCAST, 2012; TWC, 2014; Ogilvie, 2014).
Nearly half (49%) of students earning a bachelor’s degree in science and engineering reported attending a community college at some point in their education (NSF, 2014). Two-year college students represent an increasing proportion of all undergraduate enrollment growing from 43% in 2011 to 46% in 2013 and are historically over-represented populations underrepresented in engineering with over half of the Hispanic (57%), Native American (61%), and Black (52%) college students (AACC, 2015; Ogilvie, 2014; Sullivan et al., 2012). However, students starting in two-year colleges face many challenges such as clear pathways, supportive policies, and systemic support between two-year and four-year institutions (Kuh et al., 2000; Gibbons, et al., 2011; Blash et al., 2012). To enrich the diversity of the engineering workforce, we must recognize and recruit from the two-year institution talent pool and provide a clear and transparent pathway that is student centered and institutionally supported.
This paper will highlight partnerships between two year institutions and a prominent four-year institution in the state of Texas providing students an opportunity to be co-enrolled at the two and four-year institution. Students earn engineering course credit from the four-year institution beginning with the first semester they are admitted to the program. This unique co-enrollment model allows students to remain close to home earning measurable progress towards completing a bachelor’s degree while simultaneously completing an associate’s degree. Programs are imbedded in the partnerships to help students develop an institutional identity and adapt to the academic and social environment of the four year institution.
The US Census Bureau (2012) reported, that as of 2011, Texas was one of 5 majority minority states. These partnerships increase educational opportunities and support efforts to produce engineers reflective of the community. This paper shares the challenges and successes learned during the first three years of the program and the planned expansion to further recruit, retain and graduate a more diverse engineering demographic.
Perez, J., & Yoon, S. Y., & Reed, T. K., & Lawley, C. D. (2016, June), Enriching the Diversity of the Engineering Workforce: Addressing Missed Opportunities to Support Student Transition from a Two- to a Four-Year Institution Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26721
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