Asee peer logo

Impact And Results Of Minority Engineering Student Advising And Mentoring For Career Advancement

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Impact Student Success

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.687.1 - 13.687.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Tokunbo Ogunfunmi Santa Clara University

visit author page

TOKUNBO OGUNFUNMI, Ph.D., P.E. is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California. He earned his BSEE (First Class Honors) from Obafemi Awolowo University, (formerly University of Ife), Nigeria, his MSEE and PhDEE from Stanford University, Stanford, California. His teaching and research interests span the areas of Digital Signal Processing (theory, applications and implementations), Adaptive Systems, VLSI/ASIC Design and Multimedia Signal Processing. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, Member of Sigma Xi, AAAS and ASEE.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Impact and Results of Minority Engineering Student Advising and Mentoring for Career Advancement 1


Minority students in graduate school in engineering in the United States are quite few. The numbers are even fewer in small private schools. For example, statistics of black minority undergraduate students in electrical engineering are less than 5% in many small catholic private universities such as Santa Clara University. Given that not all of the undergraduates go on to graduate school in electrical engineering, the numbers are even fewer in graduate school, typically less than 1%.

The reality of low minority enrollment numbers in engineering and in electrical engineering in particular is unacceptable. Therefore, it is important to offer minority undergraduate and graduate students in engineering mentoring on the issues of retention, graduation and career advancement.

Recently, we began a program at our university to improve these statistics. This program is initially funded by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation. The preliminary results and the impact of our multi-faceted grant activities are presented in this paper.


It is a well-known problem that the number of minority students in engineering in the United States is very small. In [1], we presented some of our findings and recommendations to rectify the situation especially regarding the number of minority graduate students in electrical engineering.

Over the last year some of the recommendations have been implemented, thanks to a grant from the James Irvine Foundation at Santa Clara University.

In this paper, we report on the impact of some of the recommendations. The focus of our paper is on the undergraduate student population and the impact of the recommendations on their initial experience at our institution.

We also give an overview of how our institution has developed and embraced many of the recommendations for implementation for engineering undergraduate minority students.

The paper is divided into five sections. In Section 2, we start with the motivation for this paper. Here, we also re-state the problem as we perceive it. In Section 3, we give some background about the school of engineering at Santa Clara University. We also present some of the institutional

1 This work was supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation

Ogunfunmi, T. (2008, June), Impact And Results Of Minority Engineering Student Advising And Mentoring For Career Advancement Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4394

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015