Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.1005.1 - 6.1005.10
The Ford/University of Detroit Mercy Engineering Opportunity Program
Leo Hanifin, Mark Schumack University of Detroit Mercy
This paper describes a unique high school/industry/university initiative to promote engineering to and recruit high school students. Participants in the program include Ford Motor Company, the University of Detroit Mercy, and 13 high schools. The program is unique for several reasons. The scale of participation is large: approximately one hundred people are directly involved in interactions with high school students. Each high school is assigned a team consisting of two or three Ford engineers, one or two high school teachers, one or two UDM faculty members, a UDM engineering student, and a UDM admissions staff member. The teams are charged with developing their own activities depending on student needs, interests, and team member expertise. Some of the more novel activities are described, including the founding of a junior National Society for Black Engineers chapter, small-scale experiments in UDM engineering laboratories, and participation in a public water-sampling project. The schools represent a diverse mix, enabling communication among communities normally isolated from one another. The high schools include public and private, suburban and urban, with some serving primarily African American and Hispanic communities. The motivation for the program was a survey of high school math and science chairpersons to gain insight into the causes of low engineering enrollments in Michigan and to develop possible solutions. An informal assessment of the program was performed by team members, and a more formal assessment process is being developed.
The Gap between Engineering Graduate Supply and Demand: 1983 was the start of a twelve-year downtrend in full-time freshman engineering student enrollments in the United States. With the exception of 1988 and 1992, which saw minor increases, enrollments dropped an average of 3.3% per year and by 1994, enrollments were down 22.4% as compared to 1983. Full-time freshman engineering enrollment was at an eighteen-year low in 1994. While 1997 and 1998 saw a 6.5% and 4.4% increase respectively (with 1998 reaching a ten-year high), first year enrollments again dropped 1% in 19991,2. Since demand for engineers is strong, and in many disciplines growing, engineering enrollments today are not adequate to provide the flow of engineering graduates needed in the nation.
The reduced number of students pursuing engineering and the increase in engineering jobs, coupled with the retirement of large numbers of engineers, will cause a gap. The gap between the engineering needs
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Schumack, M., & Hanifin, L. (2001, June), The Ford/University Of Detroit Mercy Engineering Opportunity Program Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9280
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