Asee peer logo

Improving The Participation And Retention Of Minority Students In Science And Engineering Through Summer Enrichment Programs

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Retention Strategies in Action Part I

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.704.1 - 15.704.19



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Amelito Enriquez Canada College Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Amelito Enriquez is a professor of Engineering and Mathematics at Canada College in Redwood City, CA. He received a BS in Geodetic Engineering from the University of the Philippines, an MS in Geodetic Science from the Ohio State University, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include technology-enhanced instruction and increasing the representation of female, minority and other underrepresented groups in mathematics, science and engineering.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Improving the Participation and Retention of Minority Students in Science and Engineering Through Summer Enrichment Programs


Although many California Community College students enter college with high levels of interest in science and engineering, their levels of preparation for college-level work, especially in math and engineering, are so low that the majority of them drop out or change majors even before taking transfer-level courses. In 2008, Cañada College, a Hispanic-Serving community college in Redwood City, CA, was awarded a Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) grant by the US Department of Education to develop and implement a project that aims to maximize the likelihood of success among underrepresented and educationally disadvantaged students interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields. The project, entitled Student On-ramp Leading to Engineering and Sciences (SOLES), incorporates strategies that address challenges and barriers to recruitment, retention and success of minority students. Among the strategies developed for this project are two summer programs that were implemented for the first time in summer 2009. The Summer Math Jam is a two-week intensive mathematics program designed to improve student preparation for college-level math courses. The Summer Engineering Institute is a two-week residential summer camp that offers participating students the opportunity to gain insight into the engineering academic program through a combination of lectures, hands- on laboratory activities, workshops and projects with engineering professionals. Preliminary results indicate success of both programs. Math Jam participants show improvement in the Math Placement test. Almost all participants scored higher in the placement test compared to their pre- program scores. For sixty four percent of them, the improvement in their scores was high enough to place them to at least the next higher math class. Engineering Institute participants showed improved understanding of the engineering profession and the engineering educational system. Participants from both programs also expressed positive overall attitude and opinions of the program objectives, content, activities and implementation.

1. Introduction

Community colleges serve as the gateway to higher education for large numbers of students in the U.S., especially minority and low-income students. Yet for many students, the community college gateway does not lead to success. Only one in four students wanting to transfer or earn a degree/certificate did so within six years, according to a recent study of California community colleges1. African American and Hispanic students have even lower rates of completion. According to the study, only 15% of African American students and 18% of Latino students completed a degree or certificate within six years, compared to 27% of Caucasian students, and 33% of Asian students.

For Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, lower success and retention rates for minority students are observed at both community college and university levels

Enriquez, A. (2010, June), Improving The Participation And Retention Of Minority Students In Science And Engineering Through Summer Enrichment Programs Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15657

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015