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Retention, Graduation, And Graduate School: A Five Year Program Focusing On Women And Underrepresented Minority Engineering And Computer Science Students

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Money and People; Resource Management for Recruitment and Retention

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

13.1050.1 - 13.1050.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4385

Download Count

43

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Paper Authors

author page

Mary Anderson-Rowland Arizona State University

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

Retention, Graduation, and Graduate School: A Five-Year Program Focusing on Women and Underrepresented Minority Engineering and Computer Science Students

Abstract

The Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research Community (CIRC) program was initiated in Fall 2002, in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, supported by a CSEM grant from the National Science Foundation. With a no-cost extension, the grant of $400,000 for four years actually supported the program for five years. The primary purposes of the program were to help academically sound junior and senior engineering and computer science students with financial need to improve retention, to expand their horizons about the field of engineering, to provide professional improvement, and to encourage the students to go on to graduate school right after completing their Bachelor of Science in Engineering or Bachelor of Science (in Computer Science) degree. Students received CIRC scholarships of up to $3,125 per academic year, depending on unmet financial need. The program focused on women and underrepresented minority engineering and computer science students who made up close to 60% of the total enrollment in the program.

Sixty-seven CIRC students participated in the program with 49 of the 62 (5 entered the program as graduate students) undergraduates graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and 20 of these students immediately enrolled in graduate school (41%, compared with 17.9% nationally). The program retention is 97%. Forty-two percent of the participants have been female and 25.4% of the participants have been minority students. A total of 39 CIRC students are either minority or female (58.2%). The average GPA of the Spring 07 students was 3.61.

This paper will review the major lessons in program improvement learned over the five years. Also included in the paper are summaries of program events, evaluations, and observations by program participants.

I. Introduction

In Fall 2002, the first 22 scholars were admitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) supported CSEMS Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research Community (CIRC) Program (Grant # 0123146). The program was established to help more women and underrepresented minority students graduate with an engineering or computer science degree. However, above this, we wanted the students to be exposed to research, to graduate school, and to the value of the graduate degree in industry, as well as academia. The primary purposes of the program were to help academically sound junior and senior engineering and computer science students with financial need to improve retention, to expand their horizons about the field of engineering, to provide professional improvement, and to encourage the students to go on to graduate school right after completing their Bachelor of Science in Engineering or Bachelor of Science (in Computer Science) degree. Students received CIRC scholarships of up to $3,125 per academic year, depending on unmet financial need. The program focused on women and underrepresented

Anderson-Rowland, M. (2008, June), Retention, Graduation, And Graduate School: A Five Year Program Focusing On Women And Underrepresented Minority Engineering And Computer Science Students Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4385

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