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Institutional Racism in Scholarship Renewal (Research)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

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Alan S. Hoback University of Detroit Mercy

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Alan S. Hoback is Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan. Dr. Hoback received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Hastings College, Nebraska in 1987. He earned his B.S., M.S and Sc.D. from Washington University in 1989, 1991, and 1993, respectively.

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Institutions that have open admissions are more likely to enroll students who can’t complete a degree in the specified time. It is common practice in higher education to award scholarships for the expected time of a degree. Students are told that scholarships may or may not be extended if additional time is needed for study. A case is made that the effect of this policy on underrepresented minorities (URM) is institutional racism. URM students are admitted to engineering program on a conditional basis much more commonly than other students. Since engineering curricula are full and have no room for additional courses, that means that it will take more than the normal time to graduate. The stress of not knowing whether scholarships will be extended pressures students to drop out or select non-engineering majors. This same pressure affects other students but has a disproportionate effect on URM students. Other groups representing diverse students are also more prone to stress and so could be similarly affected. Graduation data supports this as a factor. Scholarship renewal policies are compared for public and private four-year colleges, Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

Hoback, A. S. (2021, July), Institutional Racism in Scholarship Renewal (Research) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37348

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