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Improve Retention Rate and Recruitment of Minority Students through Enhanced Mentoring and Summer Research Programs

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28484

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28484

Download Count

147

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Paper Authors

biography

Hua Li Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Dr. Hua Li, an Associate Professor in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, is interested in sustainable manufacturing, renewable energy, sustainability assessment, and engineering education. Dr. Li has served as P.I. and Co-P.I. in different projects funded by NSF, DOEd, DHS, and HP, totaling more than 2.5 million dollars.

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biography

Mary L. Gonzalez Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Associate Vice President for Student Access, Academic Affairs
Oversite for $3.5 Million per fiscal year of federally and state funded resources for student access and success in Pre College and Collegiate aspirations. Possess 27 years of working in higher education and student development programs in STEM.

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Mohamed Abdelrahman Idaho State University

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Dr. Abdelrahman is currently the Vice President for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Engineering at Arkansas Tech University. Dr. Abdelrahman has a diverse educational and research background. His research expertise is in the design of intelligent measurement systems, sensor fusion and control systems. He has been active in research with over 80 papers published in refereed journals and conferences. He has been the principal investigator on several major research projects on industrial applications of sensing and Control with focus on Energy Efficiency. He is a senior member of IEEE, ISA, and a member of ASEE.

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Melinda Dynyel Miller

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Kai Jin Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Dr. Kai Jin is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Co-PI of the MERIT project. Her research interests include Sustainable Energy, Green Manufacturing, Quality Control, and Multi Objective Decision Making and Optimization as well as Engineering Education. She has served as PI and Co-PI in several DoEd, DHS, NRC, and industry sponsored projects.

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Maria Emilia Martinez Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Dr. Martinez holds a Ph.D. in educational administration from New Mexico State University and her research interests include the examination of the lived experiences of underserved and underrepresented student and faculty populations in higher education. She employs quantitative methods as well as qualitative methods through case studies, narratives, survey instruments, and focus groups within ethnographic and phenomenological frameworks. Dr. Martinez currently serves as the Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at Texas A&M University Kingsville.

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Abstract

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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