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Using A Summer Workshop To Recruit Talented Minority High School Students

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1101.1 - 6.1101.12

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Paper Authors

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Karen Williams

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James Hedrick

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

Session 2530

Using a Summer Workshop to Recruit Talented Minority High School Students

James Hedrick, Karen Williams Union College


For the past five years, we have offered a selective 12-day residential workshop for approximately 24 high school juniors and seniors from minorities underrepresented in science and health professions. Participants are chosen by faculty on the basis of essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation from high school teachers and guidance counselors. The program includes three mini-courses, two in biology and one in computer technology. The latter was added to help students understand the connection between technology and the health professions and also to meet the needs of a significant number of participants who express interest in engineering and computer science careers. We believe that the success of our program can be attributed to several key elements:

• A dedicated and consistent team of college faculty, student-counselors, and high school science teachers. • A unifying theme (HIV/AIDS for the past two years). • An appropriate balance of academics, educational field trips, and recreational activities. • Continuous reevaluation of the program. • Personal contact with the participants before, during, and after the program. • Support from the college.

With the addition of admissions interviews during the summer and a reunion of students in the fall when classes are in session, the program has become an effective recruiting tool; 12 former participants are now enrolled at the college. The model that we present can be easily adapted to other institutions, disciplines, and/or target populations.

I. Introduction

The importance of establishing a workforce which is as diverse as the general population is well recognized. And yet several racial groups--among them African-American, Native American, and Hispanic/Latino--continue to be seriously underrepresented in the science and health professions. Over the past decade several initiatives have sought to address this problem. For example the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) launched Project 3000 by 2000 in 1991 in an effort to increase minority enrollment in U.S. medical schools by establishing partnerships between K-12 school systems, colleges, and health professions schools1. Initially the project was very successful; between 1991 and 1994 the number of minority applicants to medical schools increased by 40% and the number of matriculants increased by 27%2. The mid-1990's, however, brought successful challenges to affirmative action. These included Proposition 209, which was passed in California in 1996, and the 1997 decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Williams, K., & Hedrick, J. (2001, June), Using A Summer Workshop To Recruit Talented Minority High School Students Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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