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Sharing Exemplary Admissions Practices that Promote Diversity in Engineering Panel Discussion

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Conference

2022 CoNECD (Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity)

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

February 20, 2022

Start Date

February 20, 2022

End Date

July 20, 2022

Conference Session

Technical Session 6 - Paper 2: Sharing Exemplary Admissions Practices that Promote Diversity in Engineering Panel Discussion

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Sessions

Page Count

5

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/39140

Download Count

59

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Paper Authors

biography

Elizabeth Cady National Academy of Engineering

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Dr. Elizabeth T. Cady is a Senior Program Officer at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). She has worked on a variety of projects that examine and enhance systems for the formal, informal, and lifelong education of engineers and improving diversity and inclusion in engineering. She is leading a project that will recognize and share innovative practices that improve diversity in undergraduate engineering education and also staffs a consensus study examining the capacity of K-12 teachers to teach engineering. She is also staffing the Roundtable on Linking Academic Engineering Research and Defense Basic Science. She also co-edited a resource collection translating research on women in science and engineering into practical tips for faculty members and worked on LinkEngineering, an online toolkit to support PreK-12 engineering education, and the Online Ethics Center, a website that supports ethics education and science and engineering. She earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Cognitive and Human Factors Psychology from Kansas State University and a B.A. in psychobiology and political science from Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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Beth M Holloway Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Beth Holloway is the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Engagement and the Leah H. Jamieson Director of the Women in Engineering Program (WIEP) in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. She is the current PIC IV Chair of the ASEE Board of Directors. Holloway received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue University.

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Theresa A. Maldonado P.E. University of California System

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Dr. Theresa A. Maldonado is currently serving as Director of the Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) in the Directorate for Engineering. She began her term at NSF in January 2011. Prior to joining NSF, Dr. Maldonado served as Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Research of the Texas A&M University System, which is comprised of 11 universities, seven state agencies, and a health science center. At the same time, she served as the founding director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute. She is also Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Dr. Maldonado has had connections to NSF throughout her career. She is the immediate past chair of the NSF Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE). From 1999 to 2001 she served as Program Director of Engineering Research Centers in the NSF Directorate for Engineering.
Dr. Maldonado earned the Ph.D., M.S.E.E., and B.E.E. with Highest Honors degrees in electrical engineering, all from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and she is a registered Professional Engineer in Texas. She was inducted into the Inaugural Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni at Georgia Tech in 1995. She was recognized by a number of awards throughout her academic career including a 1991 NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. She is a Senior Member of IEEE and member of OSA, SPIE, AAAS, ASEE, and Sigma Xi.

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Beth A Myers University of Colorado Boulder

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Beth A. Myers is an Assistant Vice Provost at the University of Colorado Boulder and Assessment and Evaluation Lead for the ASPIRE Engineering Research Center. Her goal is to facilitate the continuous improvement of the educational experiences of all students and guide policy and practice changes that ensure equity within higher education. Her interests and research expertise are in quantitative and qualitative analytics related to equity in education. She holds a BA in biochemistry, ME in engineering management and PhD in civil engineering.

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Andrew B. Williams The Citadel School of Engineering

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Andrew B. Williams, Ph.D. is the Dean of Engineering and the Louis S. LeTellier Chair at The Citadel School of Engineering. Dr. Williams is an alumni of the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers in Engineering Symposium and the National GEM Consortium Ph.D. in Engineering Program. He received both his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in AI and his BSEE from the University of Kansas.

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Abstract

The critical task of diversifying the US engineering workforce requires action and interventions throughout the engineering education and workforce system, especially at important transition points such as university admissions. All students should have the opportunity to study engineering, but despite long-standing calls to increase the numbers of women, African-Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Hispanics of any race, students from low-income families, and other traditionally underrepresented groups in undergraduate engineering education, most students are white or Asian men from upper middle-class families. Admissions policies and criteria vary across institutions, and although research has led to evidence-based changes in criteria and policies that have improved the percentage of students from underrepresented and marginalized populations in engineering, these effective practices are not widely known or adopted. These students likely experienced precollege recruitment efforts and will require support as they navigate the culture of higher education, and engineering more specifically, but acceptance into engineering schools represents a clear threshold for all engineers. Some institutions have become better at predicting student success in engineering majors based on high school performance or personal traits such as leadership skills or creativity, enabling students who would not normally be admitted to engineering programs to not only enroll but succeed. This project recognizes and promotes these effective practices and develops ideas for future research about ways to measure success in engineering education and to improve the system so that students from all backgrounds become interested, enroll, and succeed in engineering education.

With support from the National Science Foundation, INSTITUTION is engaging the community in a collaborative process that highlights and shares effective admissions practices that improve diversity in engineering education. In 2019, INSTITUTION issued a call for nominations of policies or programs that are targeted to students from underrepresented populations among incoming first-year full-time students, incoming transfer students (from community colleges or other institutions), and/or veterans or other students of nontraditional age who are entering engineering. The project defines underrepresented populations broadly, including men of color, all women, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from other underrepresented or marginalized populations (e.g., first-generation students, LGBTQI individuals, students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds, students for whom English is a second language, veterans). A committee of experts named 8 of the nominated programs as exemplary; those programs were announced on the INSTITUTION website.

A virtual workshop will be held in May, 2021. In addition to presentations from the exemplary programs, the workshop will cover topics of the higher education admissions system, admissions for transfer and 3+2 programs, research on admissions, and the benefits and consequences of using artificial intelligence and data science tools in recruiting, admissions, and retention. Breakout sessions will cover questions about the system of state, institutional, and engineering school policies and how they interact to affect admissions; future research needs, and considerations about how new technologies fit into the system. The workshop agenda is designed to encourage new collaborations and networking among speakers and attendees. A workshop proceedings will be published in fall 2021 and will include narratives from the workshop conversations, descriptions of the exemplary admissions programs, and suggestions for future research on best practices in admissions policies, ways to measure success in engineering education beyond grades, the predictive validity of criteria used to admit students to undergraduate engineering programs, and ways to improve the system so that students from all backgrounds are recruited to, admitted into, and retained throughout an engineering education. An external evaluator will contact attendees immediately following the workshop and again four months later to determine the usefulness of the information presented at the workshop, new collaborations formed, and any new policies, practices, or research in development.

This workshop and proceedings will (1) provide national recognition to institutions that are effectively diversifying engineering education using admissions policies, (2) provide guidance to institutions that are developing or researching similar admissions policies, and (3) define directions for future research on both effective practices and how those practices fit into the larger system of recruiting and retaining engineering students from all backgrounds. Ultimately, the project will improve how engineering schools evaluate and accept applicants from all backgrounds and will communicate effective practices to support institutions as they diversify their engineering programs, benefiting current and future engineers as well as the broader workforce.

INSTITUTION proposes to host a panel discussion that will include representatives from institutions with new or emerging admissions policies as well as researchers in equity and inclusion who will engage in an interactive discussion with the audience. Panel topics will include the information presented in the workshop proceedings as well as new policies or practices that have emerged in the months since the workshop.

Cady, E., & Holloway, B. M., & Maldonado, T. A., & Myers, B. A., & Williams, A. B. (2022, February), Sharing Exemplary Admissions Practices that Promote Diversity in Engineering Panel Discussion Paper presented at 2022 CoNECD (Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity) , New Orleans, Louisiana. https://peer.asee.org/39140

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