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Impacting Students from Economically Disadvantaged Groups in an Engineering Career Pathway

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Experiences of Underrepresented Students in Engineering

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34761

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34761

Download Count

82

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Paper Authors

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Manuel Jimenez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Dr. Jimenez is a professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez (UPRM). He earned his B.S from Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1986, M.S. from Univ. of Puerto Rico Mayaguez in 1991, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1999. His current teaching and research interests include design, characterization, and rapid prototyping of information processing systems, embedded cyber-physical systems, and engineering education. He is the lead author of the textbook Introduction to Embedded Systems: Using Microcontrollers and the MSP430 (Springer 2014). From 2013 to 2018 served as Associate Dean of engineering at UPRM. He currently directs the Engineering PEARLS program at UPRM, a College-wide NSF funded initiative, and coordinates the Rapid Systems Prototyping and the Electronic Testing and Characterization Laboratories at UPRM. He is a member of ASEE and IEEE.

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Luisa Guillemard University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Luisa Guillemard is a psychology professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. She has a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the Caribbean Center of Advanced Studies in Puerto Rico [today the Carlos Albizu University] and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University, post-graduate training in evaluation at The Evaluators Institute (TEI) at George Washington University and the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute. Besides teaching, she has worked as an evaluator in grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Currently she is the internal evaluator for the projects Recruiting, Retaining and Engaging Academically Talented Students from Economically Disadvantaged Groups into a Pathway to Successful Engineering Careers (PEARLS) and for Building Capacity at Collaborative Undergraduate STEM Program in Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure (RISE-UP). Both projects are funded by NSF.

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Sonia M. Bartolomei-Suarez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Sonia M. Bartolomei-Suarez is a Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM). She graduated with a BS in Industrial Engineering from UPRM (1983), a MSIE (1985) from Purdue University, and a PhD in Industrial Engineering (1996) from The Pennsylvania State University. Her teaching and research interests include: Discrete Event Simulation, Facilities Planning, Material Handling Systems, Women in Academia in STEM fields, Engineering in Education and Access to Post-Secondary Education. From August 2006 through February 2008, she was the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the College of Engineering. She was Co-Pi of the NSF’s UPRM ADVANCE IT Catalyst Project awarded during 2008. From 2008-2016, she was Co-PI of the USDE’s Puerto Rico College Access Challenge Grant Project. From 2015-2018, she was the Coordinator of the UPRM College of Engineering Recruitment, Retention and Distance Engineering Education Program (R2DEEP). Currently, she is Co-PI of the project "Recruiting, Retaining, and Engaging Academically Talented Students from Economically Disadvantaged Groups into a Pathway to Successful Engineering Careers," sponsored by NSF DUE.

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Oscar Marcelo Suarez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3797-4787

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Professor Oscar M. Suarez joined the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez in 2000. A Fellow of ASM International, he is the Coordinator of the Materials Science and Engineering graduate program, the first of its kind in Puerto Rico. He is also the director of the university's Nanotechnology Center Phase II, which is supported by the National Science Foundation. Currently, his work focuses on aluminum alloys and concrete modified with nanoparticles in addition to biocomposites for biocidal applications. Important components of his interests are education and outreach to underrepresented minorities.

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Aidsa I. Santiago-Román University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Dr. Aidsa I. Santiago-Román is a Professor and Chair in the Engineering Sciences and Materials (CIIM) Department at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM). Dr. Santiago earned a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering from UPRM and Ph.D in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Dr. Santiago has over 20 years of experience in academia and has been successful obtaining funding and publishing for various research projects. She's also the founder and advisor of the first ASEE student chapter in Puerto Rico.

Her primary research interests include investigating students’ understanding of difficult concepts in engineering sciences, especially for underrepresented populations. She also works in the development and evaluation of various engineering curriculum and courses at UPRM applying the outcome-based educational framework.

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Nayda G. Santiago University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6049-8782

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Nayda G. Santiago is professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (UPRM) where she teaches the Capstone Course in Computer Engineering. She received an BS in EE from the University of PR, Mayaguez in 1989, a MEng in EE from Cornell University in 1990, and a PhD in EE from Michigan State University in 2003. She leads the Southeast region of the Computing Alliance for Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI). Dr. Santiago is NCWIT academic alliance member, member of Henaac, SACNAS, IEEE, and ACM.

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Carla López del Puerto University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0334-7208

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Carla López del Puerto, Ph.D. is a Professor of Construction Engineering and Management in the Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez Campus.

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Pedro O. Quintero University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Pedro Quintero earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and an M.S .from that same institution. After spending nine years in the electronics industry, he joined the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, in 2008 as an Assistant Professor.

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Nelson Cardona-Martínez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1523-0960

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Nelson Cardona-Martínez is a Chemical Engineering Professor at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez. His research focuses on the development of catalytic materials and processes for the conversion of biomass derived feedstocks into valuable chemicals. He synergistically combines research, education and outreach to help create a diverse workforce in STEM fields.

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Abstract

The Program for Engineering Access, Retention, and LIATS Success seeks to increase success statistics of low-income, academically talented students (LIATS) in the host institution. Engineering college-level statistics for 2015 revealed that students coming from households with income above $50,000/year exhibited 73% graduation rate, while those coming from families with income below $7,500/year graduated at a 54% rate. Similar disparities were also observed in retention and persistence rates for these groups, with a marked higher attrition among students in the lower income bracket. To reverse these trends, the said project proposed a comprehensive intervention model that integrates elements from Lent’s et al. Social Cognitive Career Theory and Tinto’s Departure Model. The model was coupled with a scholarship program aimed at mitigating economic hardship faced by LIATS. The resulting LIAT College Access and Success Model included tools for reinforcing academic performance, faculty mentoring elements, extra-curricular activities, peer group support interactions, and research and work experiences in a five-stage, longitudinal approach that includes LIATS’ Background Experiences, Belonging, Formation, Growth, and Graduation. The project implemented customized Individual Development Plans (IDPs) to guide students’ academic and professional development, and a Professional Electronic Portfolios system developed via a peer-mentor structure to showcase research and academic products, career interests, and professional training of participating students. A group of 92 students from ten different engineering programs and four different entry levels, namely freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and first-year graduates joined the project. Evaluations performed so far include students’ sense of belonging, academic achievement, and involvement in research and work experiences as a result of participating in the program. Assessment methods for quantifying impact have included data collected via questionnaires, students’ self-assessment measures, and academic performance metrics. Descriptive statistics and academic performance indicators indicate that 97.9% of program students performed above the college-wide average. Freshmen retention reached 97.1%, while all sophomores, juniors, and grads persisted by re-enrolling for their next study year with average 93.1% progress towards graduation. When compared to similar indicators among the general engineering student population, these statistics reveal significant improvements for our target group across all indicators. This paper describes the overall initiative, the implementation of activities, outcomes for the first of a five-year longitudinal design, and reflections on our findings.

Jimenez, M., & Guillemard, L., & Bartolomei-Suarez, S. M., & Suarez, O. M., & Santiago-Román, A. I., & Santiago, N. G., & López del Puerto, C., & Quintero, P. O., & Cardona-Martínez, N. (2020, June), Impacting Students from Economically Disadvantaged Groups in an Engineering Career Pathway Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34761

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