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Retaining Underrepresented Minority Freshmen In Engineering: A Two Credit Class

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1067.1 - 9.1067.8



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Paper Authors

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Dana Newell

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Mary Anderson-Rowland

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

Session 1793

Retaining Underrepresented Minority Freshmen in Engineering: A Two-Credit Class Mary R. Anderson-Rowland Dana C. Newell

Arizona State University


In 2003, Arizona State University was one of 13 universities in the nation to receive a NACME block grant to increase the numbers of minority engineering and computer science students. In Fall 2003, 21 underrepresented students, mainly freshmen, were selected for this program in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. The students were supported by a scholarship and attended a two-credit Academic Success Workshop. Additional minority freshmen also attended the class.

The students meet for two hours each week. The primary purposes of the Academic Success Workshop are to help with the adjustment to being a university freshmen, to ensure that the students have someone to talk to should any problems arise by becoming acquainted with School staff, to assist in forming a support network for the student, to help teach teamwork, to sharpen presentation skills, and to have an enjoyable experience.

This paper discusses the program elements including a video tape series on making good grades, individual and team assignments, and assessment of the class which is done weekly. All of the students were retained to the spring semester. Students reported that the class was enjoyable and helpful in networking, improving presentation skills, and in giving tips on being a good student.

Keywords: Freshmen Retention, Underrepresented Minorities, Scholarship Program, Academic Success Workshop

I. Introduction

Since 1974, NACME (the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering) has provided leadership and support for the national effort to increase the representation of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino women and men in engineering and technology, math- and science-based careers. NACME believes in the concept of the “learning organization,” a community in which each member is encouraged and assisted to grow and develop. With the support of corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals who share their vision, NACME conducts research and analyzes trends, advances policies and practices that support the development of a diverse workforce, uses the Internet and a variety of communication tools, develops and sustains a rich portfolio of education and scholarship programs, and delivers a range of professional development programs.1

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Newell, D., & Anderson-Rowland, M. (2004, June), Retaining Underrepresented Minority Freshmen In Engineering: A Two Credit Class Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13556

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