June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Minorities in Engineering
13.1028.1 - 13.1028.9
Recruiting and Mentoring of Pre-College Minority Students for Electrical and Computer Engineering Programs
As the engineering market continues to grow, the need for diversity is becoming more apparent. The gap continues to widen for minority ethnic groups and women pursuing engineering as a career. This paper describes the efforts and results for actively recruiting minorities and women to an undergraduate electrical and computer engineering program at a Historically Black University. It also describes a series of activities aimed toward producing leaders for tomorrow in industry and academia. Such recruitment of women and minorities is critical to the country's efforts to increase the number of engineering professionals, and is a priority at many institutions.
For decades, one of the top priorities for America’s higher education leaders has been to raise the number of students enrolling in college [1,2,3]. The second priority has been to graduate students that are competent in their field of study. These priorities are of particular importance in the field of Engineering. The number of engineering degrees has declined during the past decade . This decline, coupled with the continued globalization of our economic markets, bears serious implications for the economic development and prosperity of the nation. The national decline in engineering degrees has been greater for minorities. In a recent national study, only two of five minority students who enroll in engineering programs graduate with a baccalaureate degree in engineering, as compared to two of three non-minority students . Another national study found that 54 percent of students entering four-year colleges in 1997 had a degree six years later, with an even lower percentage for Hispanics and Blacks . To minimize the impact of this disturbing trend, a priority must be set to establish a strong academic foundation for students pursuing an education in the field of engineering.
One method that has proven successful at some schools in the recruitment of engineering students is the offering of engineering summer camps [7,8]. Within these camps, students are introduced to and work with Lego Robotics in addition to sharpening preparatory skills for science, technology, engineering, and math. The use of these programs create more opportunities to educate students about the fundamentals of engineering using innovative, fun and exciting projects.
Prairie View A&M University held the Electrical and Computer Engineering Leadership (ExCEL) Summer Program in June 2007 for sophomore, junior and senior high school students. The two-week program highlighted key areas of study necessary for academic success in the areas of Electrical and Computer Engineering, including math, physics, and English. The program also included opportunities for the development of pre- professional skills with the incorporation of LEGO laboratory exercises, company visits, engineering ethics and history sessions.
Northern, J., & Green, B., & Attia, J., & Northern, T. (2008, June), Recruiting And Mentoring Of Pre College Minority Students For Electrical And Computer Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4285
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