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Improving Retention And Continuing Education Through Undergraduate Research Program

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Recruitment and Retention

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.717.1 - 13.717.8



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Paper Authors


Salil Desai North Carolina A&T State University

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Salil Desai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from University of Pittsburgh in 2004. He has been involved in undergraduate research activities including the Intel Undergraduate Research Program (IURP) and NSF REU program. He also conducts outreach activities with local schools through the Engineers Starters Program. He is an active member of ASEE, IIE, SME, and ASME.

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Leotis Parrish North Carolina A&T State University

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Lee Parish is the Assistant Dean for Student Development at the College of Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University. He directs and oversees the activities of the ELITE Student Development Center. He oversees twenty-six different student organizations with the College of Engineering. He is the program administrator for the Intel Undergraduate Research Program (IURP) at North Carolina A&T State University. He is a member of ASEE.

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Marcia Williams North Carolina A&T State University

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Marcia Williams is the Coordinator of Sponsored Programs for the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University and Statewide Coordinator for the NC Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NC-LSAMP). She received a B.S. in Industrial Technology (Manufacturing) from North Carolina A&T State University, and a MBA from Wake Forest University. She has sixteen years of experience in sponsored program administration. She is a member of ASEE.

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

Improving Retention and Continuing Education through Undergraduate Research Program Abstract

Undergraduate student retention and progress to graduate school is a critical issue among underrepresented minorities. North Carolina A&T State University has implemented an undergraduate research program with support from corporate partnership to enhance this goal. The Intel Undergraduate Research Program involves qualified undergraduate students in hands- on research experience. Key features include a multidisciplinary student cohort that is exposed to a variety of research topics under close mentoring from interdisciplinary faculty. Over its offering in the past two years, this program has become a prestigious avenue for obtaining research experiences. Students are admitted based on competitive standards that include high GPA requirements and strong recommendations from faculty. Unique aspects of this program include active participation from the industry for the initial semesters bridged by continuing support from federal programs including the NSF NC-LSAMP. In this paper we discuss the experiences and insights drawn via qualitative assessments. Program monitoring via monthly meetings, presentations, faculty assessment and research reports provide consistent feedback on the progress of the students. We propose to present findings from this preliminary study with ongoing evaluation using longitudinal data analysis. Introduction of undergraduate research programs with symbiotic support from corporate and federal agencies have positive implications for student retention and continuing education.

1. Introduction

Retention of undergraduate students in BS degree programs within minority engineering schools is important towards higher graduation rates1. In addition, exposure to undergraduate research experiences is pivotal in attracting undergraduate students towards graduate degrees in engineering. The Intel Undergraduate Research program is a mechanism which facilitates both the retention and continuing education efforts at North Carolina A & T State University. The Intel Foundation and Intel Corporation currently invest over $100 million per year in over 50 countries to promote education in mathematics, engineering and science areas. The Intel Undergraduate Research Program (IURP) was created with the intent of encouraging minority undergraduate students to pursue advanced degrees in a field concentrating in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Students selected into the program must have completed one year in course work and must be enrolled as full-time students in STEM program during Fall and Spring semesters. This program is open to US citizens or permanent residents who are a member of underrepresented minority group as defined by National Science Foundation (NSF) standards.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T), was established in 1891 and is a public, comprehensive, land grant university committed to fulfilling its fundamental purposes through exemplary undergraduate and graduate instruction, scholarly and creative research, and effective public service. NCA&T is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), located in Greensboro, North Carolina and enrolls over 10,000 students with about 89% of them being African Americans. It is the leading producer of African-American engineers

Desai, S., & Parrish, L., & Williams, M. (2008, June), Improving Retention And Continuing Education Through Undergraduate Research Program Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4145

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