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Facilitating Pathways to Engineering: First Year Summer Experience

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2020 First-Year Engineering Experience


East Lansing, Michigan

Publication Date

July 26, 2020

Start Date

July 26, 2020

End Date

July 28, 2020

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Elizabeth Kurban Women in Engineering, University of Maryland College Park

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Elizabeth Kurban serves as the Assistant Director of Retention for the Women in Engineering Program at the University of Maryland Clark School of Engineering. Elizabeth's professional and research interests broadly surround STEM-field access and persistence for women and underrepresented minoritized student populations. She is passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education, particularly in the context of engineering. Elizabeth earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of Maryland's College of Education. Prior to her journey at UMD, Elizabeth worked in higher education policy research in Washington, DC and earned an M.S.Ed in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of Delaware.

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Mary L Bowden University of Maryland College Park

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Acting Director of the Women In Engineering Program
Senior Lecturer and Keystone Instructor
Clark School of Engineering

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The A. James Clark School of Engineering (Clark School) is a limited enrollment program at the University of Maryland College Park (UMD). Unfortunately, not all students who are interested in studying engineering are directly admitted into the Clark School, but instead are admitted into UMD’s Division of Letters and Sciences (L&S). There are many students of minoritized identities (such as women and racial/ethnic minoritized students) who are not directly admitted into the Clark School of Engineering, but instead are admitted to the L&S division. Students not directly admitted will later have the opportunity to re-apply to the Clark School after strengthening their application and preparation. As such, there is a critical opportunity to promote the pathways for women and students with other minoritized identities into the field of engineering through facilitating the process for L&S students in re-applying to the Clark School of Engineering. The 2019 First Year Summer Experience (FYSE) program was designed to strengthen and facilitate pathways into the field of engineering through assisting and supporting UMD’s L&S students who are interested in studying engineering, but were not directly admitted into the Clark School. FYSE is a three-week summer orientation program focused on the development and strengthening of math-intensive engineering problem-solving skills. Equally important is the cultivation of community and a network of support among each FYSE cohort. Recruitment and selection of participants to FYSE is geared toward the inclusion of women, racial/ethnic minorities, and first-generation college students who were not directly admitted into the Clark School. The 2019 program served a diverse cohort of approximately 21 first-year women students who applied to study engineering but were admitted to the Division of Letters and Sciences. This paper will provide a detailed overview of the components and implementation of the FYSE 2019 Program. It will also include demographic information on the participants, program evaluation outcomes from participants, and any relevant updates on longitudinal tracking the 2019 FYSE cohort.

Kurban, E., & Bowden, M. L. (2020, July), Facilitating Pathways to Engineering: First Year Summer Experience Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan.

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