June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Minorities in Engineering
23.980.1 - 23.980.25
Preparing Underrepresented Students for Success in Engineering: Results and Lessons Learned from Four Years of the Summer Engineering Institute Abstract:Despite increasingly urgent calls for investment in science and technology education to meetcurrent and future demands for more engineers needed to retain economic competitiveness andinnovation capacity of the United States, trends in engineering enrollment show that, over the lastdecade, undergraduate degrees awarded in the fields of engineering have declined from 6.3 to 5.4percent of the total degrees conferred. An important strategy for increasing the number of futureengineers is to engage students from traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering,including women and ethnic minorities. To be successful in expanding the pool of potentialengineers, the needs of these underrepresented students have to be addressed. A majority of thesestudents have low-levels of preparation for college-level course work, especially in math andscience, and most have little or no pre-college exposure to the engineering profession. In 2009, asmall Hispanic-serving community college in the San Francisco Bay Area and a largecomprehensive urban university collaborated to develop the Summer Engineering Institute (SEI),which targets female students and underrepresented ethnic minorities. Funded by a grant from theUS Department of Education, the SEI is a two-week residential summer camp that offers studentsthe opportunity to gain insight into the engineering profession and the engineering educationalsystem through a combination of lectures, hands-on laboratory activities, field trips, workshops,panels, and projects. The program also aims to provide students with the skills and resourcesneeded to be successful college students. Initially developed for community college students andincoming college freshmen, the program has been gradually evolving to target younger highschool students and, eventually, middle school students. This paper presents the results and lessonslearned from four years of implementation of the SEI, and how the program has succeeded inenhancing interest in engineering among program participants, and in improving persistence andretention among those who have decided to pursue an engineering degree.
Enriquez, A. G., & Pong, W., & Ozer, N. M., & Mahmoodi, H., & Jiang, H., & Chen, C., & Cheng, A. S. E. (2013, June), Preparing Underrepresented Students for Success in Engineering: Results and Lessons Learned from Four Years of the Summer Engineering Institute Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22365
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