June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Minorities in Engineering
22.1313.1 - 22.1313.19
Topic/Session: Innovative retention and development programs for undergraduate minority engineering students Solving the Engineering Pipeline ChallengeThis paper hypothesizes a solution to the well-documented engineer pipeline challenge in theUnited States and provides preliminary data to substantiate the hypothesis.Jackson State University (JSU) initiated a School of Engineering offering BS degrees in CivilEngineering, Computer Engineering, and Telecommunications Engineering in Fall 2000,graduated the first engineers in May 2005, applied for ABET accreditation in January 2006,received notification of accreditation in September 2007 effective October 2004, and began a MSEngineering degree program in July 2004. The long established ABET accredited JSU ComputerScience Department (BS and MS in Computer Science) was transferred to School of Engineeringfrom the School of Science and Technology in August 2002.A comprehensive analysis (of School of Engineering students since 2000) was made of ACTscores (Math and Comprehensive) for enrolled students, graduates, and students attrited. Four,Five, Six, Seven and Eight year graduation rates were analyzed. The destination of BS and MSalumni was evaluated including place of employment and attendance at graduate school orprofessional school. It was discovered and documented that over 50% of our graduates haveMath ACT scores between 17 and 25, a range where the freshman student is normally enrolled ina 5 hour College Algebra and Trigonometry course. Freshmen with ACT Math scores of 26 orhigher are enrolled in Calculus I. Some of our graduates had ACT Math scores lower than 17where they begin their math sequence with an intermediate algebra class. The historical (from2000 forward) attrition rate was computed and is high for first time freshmen. To help resolvethe attrition challenge, a Summer Engineering Enrichment Program (SEEP) was initiated insummer 2009 to significantly increase retention of entering freshmen in School of Engineeringdisciplines. Almost all School of Engineering alumni are performing exceptionally well inengineering positions or in graduate or professional school.It is hypothesized that an abundant supply of potential engineers exists nationwide from thegroup of high school graduates with Math ACT scores from 17-25 and this group, relative to thetotal population of high school graduates, includes a higher percentage of African-American andHispanic minorities than the total population. Aggressive funding of SEEPs for first timefreshmen plus engineering scholarships for the more successful students should solve the UnitedStates engineer pipeline challenge within a decade. The paper includes comprehensive analysesand statistics to substantiate the graduation of high quality engineers from this population andprojects the United States investment necessary to double the output of BS engineers andcomputer scientists from US citizen high school graduates with Math ACT scores of 17-25.
Whalin, R. W., & Pang, Q. (2011, June), Solving the Engineering Pipeline Challenge Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18882
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