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Mets Pilot Program: A Community College/University Collaboration To Recruit Underrepresented Students Into Engineering

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Outreach: Future Women in Engineering I

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.911.1 - 9.911.9



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Paper Authors

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Mary Vanis

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Donna Zerby

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Bassam Mater

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Debra Banks

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Mary Anderson-Rowland

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

Session 1692

METS Pilot Program: A Community College/University Collaboration to Recruit Underrepresented Minority Students into Engineering Mary R. Anderson-Rowland1, Mary I. Vanis2, Debra L. Banks1, Bassam Mater2, Donna M. Zerby1, and Elizabeth Chain2

Arizona State University1/Maricopa Community Colleges2

Abstract Maricopa Engineering Transition Scholars (METS), funded by NSF, is a collaborative project between Arizona State University and five Maricopa Community Colleges. The project aims to increase the recruitment and retention from untapped labor pools in community colleges into university engineering programs.

This paper describes the formation and early work of a two-year pilot collaboration between Arizona State University and Maricopa Community Colleges to build a seamless system that interests, enrolls, retains, and graduates women and underrepresented minorities in engineering degree programs.

Key Words: Collaboration, Community College, Integrated Programs, Recruitment, Retention, Transfer Student, Transition Student, Underrepresented Minorities, Women

I. Introduction

The United States critically needs more scientists, engineers, and technologists. That need shows in the increasing number of jobs requiring technical education, industry’s reliance on foreign technical professionals admitted under the H-1B visa program, and that one-quarter of today’s science and technology workforce is age 50 or older.1 Yet the only labor pool deep enough to supply adequate applicants is going largely untapped. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities together comprise 70 % of the U.S. workforce. But white males hold nearly 70 % of American science, engineering, and technology jobs. It is a mirror image that bodes ill for the nation’s capacity to fill the ever-growing number of science and technology jobs that power the knowledge economy.2

Emerging trends are not promising. Demographers forecast rising minority populations in the United States for decades to come. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2050 the “minority” populations will grow so large that the traditional designations of minority and majority will be rendered meaningless.3 Short of relying on foreign workers, women and underrepresented (URM) populations are the nation’s only source of an expanded technology workforce, and they are not being successfully recruited and retained.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Vanis, M., & Zerby, D., & Mater, B., & Banks, D., & Anderson-Rowland, M. (2004, June), Mets Pilot Program: A Community College/University Collaboration To Recruit Underrepresented Students Into Engineering Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13557

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