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Summer Bridge: An Engineering Diversity College Industry Partnership Initiative Between NUPRIME and Raytheon-IDS

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Innovative College-Industry Partnerships for the Future

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1211.1 - 25.1211.17



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Paper Authors


Richard Harris Northeastern University

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Richard Harris is Assistant Dean for Academic Scholarship, Mentoring, and Outreach, and Director of Northeastern University Program In Multlicultural Engineering (NUPRIME), College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

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Bala Maheswaran Northeastern University

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College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115.

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Rachelle Reisberg Northeastern University

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Rachelle Reisberg is Assistant Dean for Engineering Enrollment and Retention, as well as Director of Women in Engineering at Northeastern University. Prior to joining Northeastern University, Reisberg held a wide range of management positions in IBM and Hanover Insurance and was the President of a high tech start-up company.

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Chet Boncek Jr. Raytheon

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Chet Boncek is a Senior Principal Engineer with a B.S.E.E. from Northeastern University
and M.S.E.E. Georgia Tech. In addition to the engineering, Boncek held the role of Raytheon Campus Manager for Raytheon/Northeastern relations from 2008 through May 2011. During that time, he hosted Summer Bridge students for yearly all-day programs at Raytheon and worked to make Summer Bridge part of Raytheon's student pipeline by encouraging students to apply for summer internships prior to going for their first COOP job and by encouraging managers and HR to take a close look at the potential of these students. Boncek is actively involved in community acclivities related to STEM and works with students in Middle School and High Schools. In partnership with the educational branch of the New England Patriots, Boncek runs engineering competitions and educational events at "The Hall" at Patriot Place in Foxboro, Mass.

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Summer Bridge: An Engineering Diversity College Industry Partnership Initiative between NUPRIME and Raytheon-IDSAbstract-We face a major demographic imperative. The U.S. Census Bureau projections show a steadydecline in the white population (from 81% in 2000 to 72.1% in 2050); a slight increase in theAfrican American population (from 12.7% in 2000 to 14.6% in 2050), and a large increase in theHispanic population (from 12.6% in 2000 to 24.4% in 2050); (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004, U.S.“Interim Projections by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin,” Internet Release Date: March 18,2004). It is clear that the science and engineering workforce of the future must come from theranks of currently under-represented groups.An important national priority is to tap into the large pool of potential human resources in theU.S. It is imperative to increase the numbers of females, African Americans, Hispanics andAmerican Indians who follow STEM educational pathways in high school, major in science,math and engineering in college, continue on to pursue graduate degrees in these disciplines andeventually enter the science and engineering workforce as researchers, academicians andpractitioners. The exigencies of diversity are economic and technological as well as social andmoral.The Northeastern University Program in Multicultural Engineering (NUPRIME), in partnershipwith Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), as an example, along with other companies,has launched an engineering education diversity initiative in an effort to stimulate broaderindustrial participation in undergraduate programs. This initiative includes an annual SummerBridge Program designed to Generate Academic Performance (GAP). Our Bridge Programseeks to provide a first step on the road to success for historically under-represented studentswho have qualified for admission and who will be attending. Participants interact with NUfaculty, staff, students and Raytheon NU-alumni in a variety of academic, professional, socialand leadership development activities. The GAP component includes workshops that provide apreview of calculus, physics, and chemistry as well as hands-on engineering demonstrations andsite visits to Raytheon-IDS or other corporate partners, to set the students up for a head start tosuccess in an engineering curriculum. Additionally, Summer Research Experiences forUndergraduate opportunities are available at the conclusion of the freshman year along withinternship/pre co-op employment.Our Annual Summer Bridge Program has yielded encouraging quantitative and qualitativeresults. These results include the recruitment, retention, graduation and post graduationperformance of the Summer Bridge cohort and the development of the Bridge Program as part ofan innovative college industry partnership with Raytheon, for example. This paper will discussthe Summer Bridge Program strategies, implementation methods, outcomes and on-goingdevelopment.

Harris, R., & Maheswaran, B., & Reisberg, R., & Boncek, C. (2012, June), Summer Bridge: An Engineering Diversity College Industry Partnership Initiative Between NUPRIME and Raytheon-IDS Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21968

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