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Money, Math And Engineering Graduation: More High School Funding Could Mean More Underrepresented Engineers

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

New Research & Trends for Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

15.884.1 - 15.884.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/17010

Download Count

37

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Paper Authors

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Amy Freeman Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Amy L. Freeman, is the Assistant Dean of Engineering Diversity at The Pennsylvania State University where she received her PhD in Workforce Education and her MS in Architectural Engineering. She has over twenty years of experience in diversity advocacy, and currently manages several retention programs targeting women and underrepresented technical students at all levels of the academic and career development pipeline. She is the current president of the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA).

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Anita Persaud Pennsylvania State University

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Anita Persaud is the Associate Director and Research Associate for the Office of Engineering Diversity (Multicultural Engineering Program) at The Pennsylvania State University. She received her BA from Queens College in Queens, New York, majoring in Psychology, and she received her MEd and DEd degrees in Counselor Education from the College of Education from Penn State University. She is the Senior Diversity Researcher on a current NSF-STEM grant where she is responsible for assisting Penn State branch campuses in creating their own ASE summer bridge programs. She also teaches First Year Seminar courses for incoming engineering students.

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Drey Kharem Pennsylvania State University

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Drey E. Kharem, Ph.D., is a research associate at The Pennsylvania State University in the college of engineering. She has over twenty years experience working in higher education to retain and graduate disadvantaged and marginalized undergraduates. Dr. Kharem is now exploring how to increase the retention of students of color in engineering through international engineering experiences. In addition to her work at Penn State, Dr. Kharem trains directors of federally funded retention programs to insure that their program documentation is in compliance.

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William Rothwell Pennsylvania State University

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William Rothwell, Ph.D., is a professor of education at The Pennsylvania State University in the department of Workforce Education and Development. Dr. Rothwell has completed extensive research in workplace learning and performance and succession planning.

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Edgar Yoder Pennsylvania State University

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Edgar P. Yoder is Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education at The Pennsylvania State University.

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

Money, Math and Engineering Graduation: More High School Funding Could Mean More Underrepresented Engineers

Abstract

What is the effect of insufficient local funding of public high schools on high school math preparation and graduation in engineering? The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of four independent variables that were in place after high school graduation for African American and Hispanic American engineering students (N=504), and the correlation of these variables with college graduation outcomes five years later. These factors included two indicators of standardized math test scores, the high school grade point average (GPA), and poverty level of the public high school community (indicated by the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced cost lunch).

When college graduation outcomes were evaluated, it was determined that high school poverty was negatively correlated with math preparation. Math preparation was positively correlated with the likelihood of graduation in engineering. A multinomial logistic regression showed that the combined effect of these factors (math test scores, grade point average and community poverty indicator) does explain 76.5% of the variance in college graduation outcome.

Following is a summary of research and findings which include excerpts of the recent doctoral dissertation of Amy Freeman completed in August of 2009.

Introduction

In 2007, African American and Hispanic engineers composed 25.0% of the total workforce in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Labor 31.Were this figure evenly distributed across all occupations, one in four of all employed persons in the U.S. (waiters, landscapers, doctors, and others) would be African American or Hispanic. However, this is not the case for the engineering profession where African American and Hispanic Americans compose only 11.7% of engineering occupations (approximately 1 in 10). Many factors contribute to the underrepresentation of these populations in technological fields.

One primary variable determining access to the engineering profession is the attainment of the bachelor of science degree in engineering. Over the past 30 years, successful remedies have typically included race-based college admission selection processes and math-intensive college retention programming7,9,13,15,21,27,28 . The result has increased enrollments, but also raised legal questions regarding racial preferences. The legal ramifications of race-based access to college admissions, retention services and resources has been reflected in several court cases and anti-affirmative action propositions in the

Freeman, A., & Persaud, A., & Kharem, D., & Rothwell, W., & Yoder, E. (2010, June), Money, Math And Engineering Graduation: More High School Funding Could Mean More Underrepresented Engineers Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/17010

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