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Undergraduate Student Retention At Tuskeegee University

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.562.1 - 4.562.6

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Paper Authors

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Warenna Millon

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Eric Sheppard

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2570


Eric J. Sheppard, Warenna Millon College of Engineering, Architecture, and Physical Sciences Tuskegee University Tuskegee, AL 36088


The Tuskegee University (TU) College of Engineering, Architecture and Physical Sciences (CEAPS) houses four accredited engineering departments: aerospace science, chemical, electrical, and mechanical. The college also includes the departments of architecture, construction science and management, physics, and computer science. Tuskegee is one of only a handful of Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) with accredited engineering programs, and the relatively low retention statistics for engineering students at HBCUs have been reported elsewhere. This paper looks at both the numbers at Tuskegee, their meaning, and progress and plans towards improving them.

Retention to graduation of engineering students, particularly those who may have started college with a weak secondary science and mathematics background, is an important goal in CEAPS. These strategies may include precollege orientation, tutorials (both university-wide and college or discipline specific), and advising. These efforts are all the more important when we see that the minority share of freshman enrollment in engineering in the United States has dropped from 16.38% in 1992 to 15.66% in 1997.1 Both retention and graduation data, by year of enrollment and by college and department, will be presented.

Retention and Graduation Rates:

In this section, we look at various retention rates in Tuskegee University’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Physical Sciences and compares them to overall TU rates and rates at other institutions, overall and in engineering.

We first look at published Minority Retention Rates (MRR), which are defined as follows: Freshman MRR is the percentage of freshmen that persist to an engineering degree, and the

Millon, W., & Sheppard, E. (1999, June), Undergraduate Student Retention At Tuskeegee University Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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