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Improving A University/Community College Partnership Program Having A Reduced Budget

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Innovative Partnerships

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.733.1 - 11.733.8



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Paper Authors


Mary Anderson-Rowland Arizona State University

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MARY R. ANDERSON-ROWLAND is an Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering. She was the Associate Dean of Student Affairs in the Fulton School of Engineering at ASU from 1993-2004. She was named the SHPE Educator of the Year 2005 and selected for the National Engineering Award in 2003, the highest honor given by the American Association of Engineering Societies. In 2002 the Society of Women Engineers named her the Distinguished Engineering Educator. She has received many other awards for her support of students. An ASEE Fellow, she is a frequent speaker on the career opportunities in engineering, especially for women and minority students.

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Caroline VanIngen-Dunn Arizona State University

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CAROLINE VANINGEN-DUNN is a consultant with CVID Consultants for the past 11 years.. She earned a Bioengineering Degree from the University of Iowa and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Standford. She worked as an engineer for 14 years in industry specializing in the design of seats for comfort and support during crashes. She is currently the half-time director of the METS (Maricopa Engineering Transition Scholars) program, overseeing activities both in the Fulton School of Engineering and the Maricopa County Community College District.

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Debra Banks Consultant

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DEBRA L. BANKS, METS Evaluator and former Director of Evaluation and Assessment for CRESMET (ASU), is now the Director of Outreach and Operations for Innovative Tailor Made Training and Technology (ITTT) in Berkeley, CA. She has been evaluating major school reform and technical programs for 14 years. She has served as a co-PI for several grants including METS.

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



In fall 2003, collaboration was begun between the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University and five community colleges belonging to the Maricopa County Community College District. Funded by a joint grant from the National Science Foundation, each with their own budget, the collaborators set out to develop a program that would interest and support community college students in engineering, ease their transition to a large university, and continue to support them after the transfer, especially for the first year. The program also was designed to especially encourage and support women and underrepresented minority students. The program is called METS: Maricopa Engineering Transition Scholars. Most of the plans for the project as proposed have been successful, including a METS Center in the Fulton School.

In addition, one of the research areas was to develop a model administration for such collaboration. The administration of the grant, however, has proved to be a challenge. The five community colleges each have their own administration and way of doing things, so the METS administration was much more complicated than just a collaboration of a university and one community college. After a two-year pilot, the major grant ended and the program was continued on an extension, but with a much reduced budget. To continue the program administrative support had to be reduced. This paper will describe how the program is now functioning on a reduced budget and the advantages of the new administrative model.

I. Introduction

In fall 2003, a brave collaboration was begun between the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) and five community colleges belonging to the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). The low interest in engineering, especially by women and underrepresented minority students is well known: in fall 2004, only 2.4% of freshmen women and 13.9% of freshmen men cited engineering as their “probable career.” If we include those who thought that computer programmer or analyst would be their “probable career,” the numbers remain dismal: 4.4% for freshmen men and only .5% for freshmen women.1 Engineering enrollments are down nationally.2 The community college system plays a large role in engineering enrollments. The Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Development noted the community colleges enroll close to half of all students that are traditionally underrepresented in SET. The Commission recommends “comprehensive and systemic, institutional changes to strengthen SET education at two-year colleges and to facilitate transition of SET students from two-year colleges into four-year colleges.3 These changes are due, especially since nearly half of students who enroll at a two-year college do not return for their second year.4

Part of the solution for more U.S. engineers and especially more women and underrepresented engineers lies in working with community colleges to make students aware of the opportunities

Anderson-Rowland, M., & VanIngen-Dunn, C., & Banks, D. (2006, June), Improving A University/Community College Partnership Program Having A Reduced Budget Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1313

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