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If You Build It, They Will Come (and Stay): Recruiting and Retaining Women and Underrepresented Minority Students

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

CANCELLED: This session has been replaced by session W269 in room 223: Panel: Building Effective Pathways and Programs for Women and Minoritities

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count

6

Page Numbers

22.794.1 - 22.794.6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18075

Download Count

33

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Paper Authors

biography

Hyun Kyoung Ro Pennsylvania State University

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Hyun Has been working as a graduate assistant on the Engineer of 2020 research grants that the Center for the Study of Higher Education received from the National Science Foundation at Penn State.

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Rose M. Marra University of Missouri, Columbia

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Rose M. Marra, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. She is Director of Research of the NSF-funded Assessing Women and Men in Engineering (AWE) and Assessing Women in Student Environments (AWISE) projects, and a co-principal investigator for the National Girls Collaborative project. Dr. Marra teaches course on assessment, evaluation and the design and implementation of effective online learning experiences.

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Patrick T. Terenzini Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Terenzini is Distinguished Professor and Senior Scientist Emeritus in Penn State's Center for the Study of Higher Education. He has studied the effects of college on students for nearly 40 years and is co-author (with Ernest T. Pascarella) of the two-volume review of research on college student outcomes published since 1970. For the past 15 years, he has concentrated his research on engineering education and, in 2002, received (with others) the William Elgin Wickenden Award for the Best Paper published in the Journal of Engineering Education in 2001.

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Ardie D. Walser City College of the City University of New York, Grove School of Engineering

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Ardie D. Walser is the Associate Dean of the Grove School of Engineering and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the City College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

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Lois Calian Trautvetter Northwestern University

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Lois Calian Trautvetter, Assistant Professor of Education and Director, Higher Education Administration and Policy Program, Northwestern University,
l-trautvetter@northwestern.edu.

Dr. Trautvetter studies faculty development and productivity issues, including those that enhance teaching and research, motivation, and new and junior faculty development. She also studies gender issues in the STEM disciplines.

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Susan M. Lord University of San Diego

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Susan M. Lord received a B.S. from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Coordinator of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego. Her teaching and research interests include electronics, optoelectronics, materials science, first year engineering courses, feminist and liberative pedagogies, and student autonomy. Dr. Lord served as General Co-Chair of the 2006 Frontiers in Education Conference. She has been awarded NSF CAREER and ILI grants. She is currently working on a collaborative NSF-funded Gender in Science and Engineering project investigating persistence of women in engineering undergraduate programs. Dr. Lord’s industrial experience includes AT&T Bell Laboratories, General Motors Laboratories, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and SPAWAR Systems Center. She served as the President of the IEEE Education Society in 2009 and 2010.

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Abstract

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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