Asee peer logo

Recruiting And Mentoring Of Pre College Minority Students For Electrical And Computer Engineering Programs

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Marketing Engineering to Minority Students

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1028.1 - 13.1028.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

James Northern Prairie View A&M University

author page

Brandon Green Prairie View A&M University

author page

John Attia Prairie View A&M University

author page

Teasa Northern Prairie View A&M University

Download Paper |

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

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 [4]. 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 [5]. 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 [6]. 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. 10.18260/1-2--4285

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: © 2008 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