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Results Of Seven Year Community Outreach Program To Improve The Pipeline Of Underrepresented Minorities Studying Science, Engineering Or Mathematics At College Level

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Factors Affecting Minority Engineering Students

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1045.1 - 13.1045.10



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Paper Authors

author page

Barbara Christie Loyola Marymount University

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

Results of Seven Year Community Outreach Program to Improve the Pipeline of Underrepresented Minorities Studying Science, Engineering or Mathematics at College Level


The Center for Student Success (CSS) at Loyola Marymount University has the goals of recruiting science and engineering students and improving the retention of SE students in general. But special attention is given to improving the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in the Seaver College of Science and Engineering. Developing methods to recruit students normally falls under the auspice of the admissions office on a college campus but the admission office goal is to recruit students to apply to the university, not within targeted majors. In order for engineering departments to recruit the best and brightest students they must find innovative and efficient methods to reach out to the high school community.

The Seaver College of Science and Engineering at LMU wanted to do more to improve our chances of recruiting underrepresented students. To accomplish this goal we started a high school community outreach program known as The Science and Engineering Community Outreach Program (SECOP) in the summer of 2001. SECOP is a two-week residential pre-college summer school program with a focus on science and engineering. We created a partnership between our College and five different academic enrichment programs in Southern California. By working with community organizations we have reached highly motivated students who have a strong aptitude for science and mathematics. We found funding to support our partnership from private corporations and foundations with similar goals; to improve the representation of African American, Latino, Native American, and females in engineering majors. Since 2001, 154 students from 54 different high schools in the Greater Los Angeles Area have participated in SECOP and the results of the community outreach partnership have been outstanding. We have collected data on the SECOP alumni who have graduated high school. We contacted many of the students over the phone and searched for them on Face Book. Of the students who attended SECOP and now have graduated from high school, 100% have or are attending college. Sixty-seven percent have select Science, Engineering or Mathematics as majors in college. Of the 84 students interviewed, 38 have selected engineering as a major in college (45%). These statistics are over three times higher than the national percentage of underrepresented engineering students graduating with engineering degrees (12%). The first SECOP students (from SECOP 2001) have graduated from university or will be graduating in 2008. The graduation rate of students contacted is 100%. The percentage graduating in STEM majors is 58% (14 out of 24), including 43% graduating with engineering degrees (6 out of 14). This article discusses the methods the CSS Office used to develop a very valuable and meaningful community outreach program that supports our community, improves the pipeline of engineering students and benefits Loyola Marymount University.

Christie, B. (2008, June), Results Of Seven Year Community Outreach Program To Improve The Pipeline Of Underrepresented Minorities Studying Science, Engineering Or Mathematics At College Level Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4342

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