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Success Expectations of Low-income Academically Talented Students in Engineering: A Preliminary Study at a Hispanic-serving Institution

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35252

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35252

Download Count

74

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Paper Authors

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Aidsa I. Santiago-Román University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Dr. Aidsa I. Santiago-Román is a Professor and Chair in the Engineering Sciences and Materials (CIIM) Department at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM). Dr. Santiago earned a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering from UPRM and Ph.D in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Dr. Santiago has over 20 years of experience in academia and has been successful obtaining funding and publishing for various research projects. She's also the founder and advisor of the first ASEE student chapter in Puerto Rico.

Her primary research interests include investigating students’ understanding of difficult concepts in engineering sciences, especially for underrepresented populations. She also works in the development and evaluation of various engineering curriculum and courses at UPRM applying the outcome-based educational framework.

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Manuel A. Jimenez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Dr. Jimenez is a professor at the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department in the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez (UPRM). He earned his B.S from Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1986, M.S. from Univ. of Puerto Rico Mayaguez in 1991, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1999. His current teaching and research interests include design, characterization, and rapid prototyping of information processing systems, embedded cyber-physical systems, and engineering education. He is the lead author of the textbook Introduction to Embedded Systems: Using Microcontrollers and the MSP430 (Springer 2014). From 2013 to 2018 served as Associate Dean of engineering at UPRM. He currently directs the Engineering PEARLS program at UPRM, a College-wide NSF funded initiative, and coordinates the Rapid Systems Prototyping and the Electronic Testing and Characterization Laboratories at UPRM. He is a member of ASEE and IEEE.

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Luisa Guillemard University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Luisa Guillemard is a psychology professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. She has a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the Caribbean Center of Advanced Studies in Puerto Rico [today the Carlos Albizu University] and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University, post-graduate training in evaluation at The Evaluators Institute (TEI) at George Washington University and the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute. Besides teaching, she has worked as an evaluator in grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Currently she is the internal evaluator for the projects Recruiting, Retaining and Engaging Academically Talented Students from Economically Disadvantaged Groups into a Pathway to Successful Engineering Careers (PEARLS) and for Building Capacity at Collaborative Undergraduate STEM Program in Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure (RISE-UP). Both projects are funded by NSF.

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Sonia M. Bartolomei-Suarez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Sonia M. Bartolomei-Suarez is a Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM). She graduated with a BS in Industrial Engineering from UPRM (1983), a MSIE (1985) from Purdue University, and a PhD in Industrial Engineering (1996) from The Pennsylvania State University. Her teaching and research interests include: Discrete Event Simulation, Facilities Planning, Material Handling Systems, Women in Academia in STEM fields, Engineering in Education and Access to Post-Secondary Education. From August 2006 through February 2008, she was the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the College of Engineering. She was Co-Pi of the NSF’s UPRM ADVANCE IT Catalyst Project awarded during 2008. From 2008-2016, she was Co-PI of the USDE’s Puerto Rico College Access Challenge Grant Project. From 2015-2018, she was the Coordinator of the UPRM College of Engineering Recruitment, Retention and Distance Engineering Education Program (R2DEEP). Currently, she is Co-PI of the project "Recruiting, Retaining, and Engaging Academically Talented Students from Economically Disadvantaged Groups into a Pathway to Successful Engineering Careers," sponsored by NSF DUE.

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Oscar Marcelo Suarez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3797-4787

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Professor Oscar Marcelo Suarez joined the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez in 2000. A Fellow of ASM International, he is the Coordinator of the Materials Science and Engineering graduate program, the first of its kind in Puerto Rico. He is also the director of the university's Nanotechnology Center Phase II, which is supported by the National Science Foundation. Currently, his work focuses on aluminum alloys, metal matrix composites, and concrete modified with nanoparticles as well as biocomposites for biocidal applications. Important components of his interests are education and outreach to underrepresented minorities.

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Nelson Cardona-Martínez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1523-0960

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Nelson Cardona-Martínez is a Chemical Engineering Professor at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez. His research focuses on the development of catalytic materials and processes for the conversion of biomass derived feedstocks into valuable chemicals. He synergistically combines research, education and outreach to help create a diverse workforce in STEM fields.

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Carla López del Puerto University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0334-7208

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Carla López del Puerto, Ph.D. is a Professor of Construction Engineering and Management in the Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez Campus.

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Nayda G. Santiago University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6049-8782

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Nayda G. Santiago is professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (UPRM) where she teaches the Capstone Course in Computer Engineering. She received an BS in EE from the University of PR, Mayaguez in 1989, a MEng in EE from Cornell University in 1990, and a PhD in EE from Michigan State University in 2003. She leads the Southeast region of the Computing Alliance for Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI). Dr. Santiago is NCWIT academic alliance member, member of Henaac, SACNAS, IEEE, and ACM.

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Pedro O. Quintero University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Pedro Quintero earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and an M.S .from that same institution. After spending nine years in the electronics industry, he joined the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, in 2008 as an Assistant Professor.

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Anidza Valentín-Rodríguez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8981-653X

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Abstract

This paper describes findings on interviews conducted to Hispanic engineering students interested in participating in an S-STEM fellowship program at our institution. The program seeks to increase the retention, persistence, and success of Low-Income Academically Talented Students (LIATS) at the College of Engineering (CoE). Specifically, this program integrates elements from Lent’s et al. Social Cognitive Career Theory and Tinto’s Departure Model in conjunction with a scholarship program to establish an intervention model to be further institutionalized at the CoE, if proven to be effective. Specifically, this paper focuses on findings during the recruitment and selection process. An exploratory study was conducted guided by the following research question: What are the success expectations of LIATS participating on the proposed fellowship program?

The recruitment process implemented consisted of a five-stage process: (1) program announcement, (2) application process, (3) info-sessions, (4) interview process, and (5) awarding process. Out of 2,388 students received that were invited to participate, 92 were finally selected for the program. The participation was distributed as 41 scholars (S) and 51 participants (P). Participants received all program benefits except financial aid, i.e. they participated on all the interventions designed for the program. Furthermore, the final group distribution resulted in 34 freshmen (S=13, P=21), 28 sophomore (S=13, P=15) and 38 juniors (S=13, P=15).

The interview protocol consisted of 6 questions that focused on: (1) interest in pursuing an engineering degree, (2) likes and dislikes on their current program of study, (3) factors affecting academic their performance, (4) plans after graduation, (5) events that had an effect on their academic performance, (6) interest on participating in the program. A grounded theory approach was applied to determine emerging themes through an open-coding process. Then, participants’ answers were tallied and ranked. Preliminary results indicated that students’ interest to pursue an engineering degree was due to participation either on a STEM program at their high school or a campus outreach activity, such as summer camps. In terms of how they feel about their program of study findings indicated a positive reaction to the college environment. On the other hand the main trouble was the adaptation to the college work-load. When asked about factors affecting their academic performance, participants indicated the economic problems that were facing due to the rise of school tuition fees. Also, their plans after graduation were to continue graduate studies followed closely by getting a job. Furthermore, participants indicated that time management has been the biggest factor affecting their academic performance. Finally, their motivation to participate in the program was to seek mentorship from professors from their field of study.

Santiago-Román, A. I., & Jimenez, M. A., & Guillemard, L., & Bartolomei-Suarez, S. M., & Suarez, O. M., & Cardona-Martínez, N., & López del Puerto, C., & Santiago, N. G., & Quintero, P. O., & Valentín-Rodríguez, A. (2020, June), Success Expectations of Low-income Academically Talented Students in Engineering: A Preliminary Study at a Hispanic-serving Institution Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35252

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015