June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Minorities in Engineering
Retention of first two-year engineering students is complicated since many courses in this early period are taught outside of college of engineering. Research by the American Council on Education and National Science Foundation provide strong evidences that increasing student engagement through learner-centered approaches may lead to increased student retention, persistence and success. This paper presents the findings from a three-year transformative project funded by Department of Education focusing on engaging, mentoring, and retaining minority engineering students in a four-year Hispanic Serving Institute. The project consists of two primary components, an Engaging Mentoring and Tutoring (EMT) program and a three-week Summer Research Program (SRP). The EMT tackles the bottleneck courses in the first two-year of engineering curriculum that are taught outside of engineering college. A collaborative approach incorporating faculty members from Engineering and Arts & Sciences was implemented to create hands-on learning modules involving engineering concepts for selected bottleneck courses. Supervised by the bottleneck course instructors, junior and senior engineering students used these modules to mentor and tutor the first two-year students. The SRP is designed to prepare first two-year students and community college students through project-based research and learning in order to retain and recruit students in engineering fields. Difficult concepts in engineering bottleneck courses are explored through the well-designed three-week research projects in different disciplines.
Students’ performances in the selected bottleneck courses, including passing rate and changes from midterm grades to final grades, were closely monitored and analyzed to evaluate the impacts of the EMT program. A survey was conducted at the end of every semester to collect students’ feedback about the EMT program. The results indicated significant improvement in students’ performance after attending the EMT program. Pre and post surveys were conducted for the SRP participants to collect students’ feedback. The number of students transferred from community college to the four-year institute was also used to evaluate the impacts of SRP.
This paper presents the detailed program designs of both EMT and SRP programs. The improvements of program design made every year are also discussed to share the lessons learned through this three-year project. The data from each year is compared to show the effects of continuous improvements.
Li, H., & Gonzalez, M. L., & Abdelrahman, M., & Miller, M. D., & Jin, K., & Martinez, M. E. (2017, June), Improve Retention Rate and Recruitment of Minority Students through Enhanced Mentoring and Summer Research Programs Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28484
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