June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Two Year College Division
11.733.1 - 11.733.8
IMPROVING A UNIVERSITY/COMMUNITY COLLEGE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM HAVING A REDUCED BUDGET
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.
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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