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Summer Program for Transitioning STEM Minority Students from Two-year to Four-year College Degrees

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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

Attracting Young Minds: Part I

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1214.1 - 25.1214.11



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Paper Authors


Aurenice Menezes Oliveira Michigan Technological University

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Aurenice Oliveira is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering Technology program at Michigan Technological University. She received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA, in 2005. Her current research interests include communication systems, digital signal processing, optical fiber systems, and engineering education. Oliveira is the Michigan Tech Project Director of the U.S.-Brazil Engineering Education Consortium funded by FIPSE - U.S. Department of Education. Oliveira has also been contributing to STEM K-12 outreach initiatives, minority and diversity programs, and to the NSF-ADVANCE initiative at Michigan Tech. DOliveira is a member of the IEEE Photonics Society, the IEEE Women in Engineering Society, and the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).

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SUMMER PROGRAM FOR TRANSITIONING STEM MINORITY STUDENTS FROM 2-YEAR TO 4-YEAR COLLEGE DEGREESTopic (from MIND division): Innovative retention and development programs forundergraduate minority engineering students (including bridge programs).Keywords: STEM, minority, outreach.Abstract:There is broad consensus that the U.S. competitiveness in an increasingly global economicenvironment relies on getting more Americans interested in and sufficiently prepared forSTEM-related jobs. The STEM workforce accounts for more than 50% of the nation’ssustained economic growth. Reports by NIH, NSF, the Department of Education, and theU.S. Department of Labor corroborate that our nation needs to increase the supply andquality of future STEM workers by improving the pipeline into the STEM fields for low-income and/or minority, first-generation-to-consider-college, and rural students. The U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth of 22% for STEM occupations as a whole by2014. Increasing the STEM workforce will be of particular importance within the nextdecade as the U.S. is dealing with large infrastructure and maintenance needs.Research suggests that the main barriers to STEM education among students like those wework with include lack of: 1) family understanding/engagement to support STEM study, 2)adequate high school preparation, 3) confidence to pursue STEM study at a 4-degreeinstitution, 4) understanding of financial aid options, and 5) awareness of the availability ofhigh-paying careers with a bachelor degree. Therefore, our overall goal is to provide acomprehensive and sustained program to address these barriers within the selectedpopulation. This will result in increased STEM degree attainment among students who arecurrently underrepresented in the STEM workforce.The seven‒week summer program that we describe in this paper is designed to supportinstitution‒wide improvements in community college students’ transfer and attainment of abaccalaureate degree. The program helps community college students transfer to a four-year institution by addressing the opportunities and challenges for students who want topursue a bachelor's degree. The program encourages academically and economicallydisadvantaged students as well as minority students, Hispanic-American, Native American,and African-American, to continue their education beyond community college. Theprogram includes academic tutoring and comprehensive advising, 3-credit university-levelcourse, competitive stipend, and room/meals. Students live on the University campus whilecompleting an undergraduate research internship with a faculty member and graduatestudents. This experience strengthens students’ academic background in their major. Theprogram has achieved a success transfer rate of over 70% in the past years, and hasreceived several awards including the ABET 2010 Claire L. Felbinger Award forDiversity, for the extraordinary success in achieving or facilitating diversity andinclusiveness in the technological segments of our society.

Oliveira, A. M. (2012, June), Summer Program for Transitioning STEM Minority Students from Two-year to Four-year College Degrees Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21971

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