June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Minorities in Engineering
22.794.1 - 22.794.6
If You Build It, They Will Come (and Stay): Recruiting and Retaining Women and Underrepresented Minority Students1 This Panel Session will present findings from two companion studies that examinedrecruitment strategies to attract and serve women and underrepresented minority students and supportservices that aid in their retention in engineering programs. Panel members will first present findingsfrom a national survey, summarizing recruitment and retention practices, students’ perceptions ofengineering program climate, and the role of support services in students’ plans to work in oroutside of engineering professions. Detailed examples of recruitment and retention practicesdrawn from case studies of engineering schools will provide specific examples of effectivepractices and policies. Following the presentation of findings, two commentators with extensiveexpertise will open a dialogue with the audience by remarking on the implications of the findings forengineering schools, as well as directions for future research on this topic. Findings are drawn from Prototype to Production (P2P) and Prototyping the Engineer of2020 (P360), both funded by NSF. P2P investigated curricular, instructional, and organizationalpractices and policies, as well as the educational experiences of undergraduates, in a nationallyrepresentative sample of more than 100 engineering programs in 30 four-year institutions.Findings based on data from students, faculty, program chairs, and associate deans will be shared.P360 complemented P2P through case studies of six institutions that outperformed their peers on atleast one measure; four of the six outperformed peer institutions in recruiting and graduatingunderserved students. P2P findings indicate that about one-third of engineering faculty members assist inrecruiting women and underrepresented students. The majority of faculty may not participatebecause these activities, according to program chairs and faculty, have very little value in meritsalary, promotion, and tenure decisions. Additionally, almost 20% of faculty members andprogram chairs believe it is difficult to increase student diversity without sacrificing academicquality. Interviews with faculty and administrators from the P360 study reveal how these1 This proposed panel has been submitted to both the Minorities in Engineering and Women inEngineering Divisions. We hope these divisions will consider co-sponsoring this panel.concerns are expressed -- or rejected -- as barriers to diversification of the engineering studentpopulation. In this session we will explore whether negative faculty attitudes contribute to themore negative perceptions of engineering program climates reported by women andunderrepresented minority students compared to their male and White counterparts. We alsoexplore whether these attitudes influence women and underrepresented minority students’interests in remaining in the engineering field after graduation. Finally, we also explore the importance of certain support services to women andunderrepresented minority students. Underrepresented minority students, for example, reportthat the services of a learning/tutoring center are important to their academic success. Data fromthe case studies provides insight into why these services are valued by students, as well asfaculty and administrators’ perceptions of their role in recruiting and retaining women andunderrepresented minority students. We anticipate that these findings and the commentary of two engineering facultymembers prominent in promoting a more diverse student body will produce a lively andproductive conversation.
Ro, H. K., & Marra, R. M., & Terenzini, P. T., & Walser, A. D., & Trautvetter, L. C., & Lord, S. M. (2011, June), If You Build It, They Will Come (and Stay): Recruiting and Retaining Women and Underrepresented Minority Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18075
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