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Working with Graduate Students in an Upper Division Students Program

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1403.1 - 24.1403.10



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Paper Authors


Mary R. Anderson-Rowland Arizona State University

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Mary Anderson-Rowland, Arizona State University
MARY R.ANDERSON-ROWLAND is the PI of an NSF STEP grant to work with five
non-metropolitan community colleges to produce more engineers, especially female and
underrepresented minority engineers. She also directs three academic scholarship programs, including one for transfer students. An Associate Professor in Computing, Informatics, and Systems Design Engineering, she was the Associate Dean of Student Affairs in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU from 1993-2004. Anderson-Rowland was named a top 5% teacher in the Fulton Schools of Engineering for 2009-2010. She received the WEPAN Engineering Educator Award 2009, ASEE Minorities Award 2006, the SHPE Educator of the Year 2005, and the National Engineering Award in 2003, the highest honor given by AAES. In 2002 she was named the Distinguished Engineering Educator by the Society of Women Engineers. She has over 185 publications primarily in the areas of recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented minority engineering and computer science students. Her awards are based on her mentoring of students, especially women and underrepresented minority students, and her research in the areas of recruitment and retention. A SWE and ASEE Fellow, she is a frequent speaker on career opportunities and diversity in engineering.

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Working with Graduate Students in an Upper Division Students ProgramSince 2002, a major university has had an Academic Success Program for upper division nativeand transfer students, as well as graduate students. The graduate students earned their Bachelor’sdegree in engineering or computer science while attending our Academic Success Class foreither transfer students or for native students. The number of students who attend the two-creditAcademic Success and Professional Development Class each semester runs from 110 to 180students. The paper will briefly describe the program and assignments required of the students.About half of the students in the class have scholarships from a National Science Foundation S-STEM or STEP grant. Some students this year have their scholarships supported by a Women &Philanthropy group.The six 75 minute meetings each semester are held in five or six sessions each time in order tokeep the meetings small. An engineering professor directs the program. A continual challenge isto keep varying the assignments for students who repeat the class. The class credits from do notcount toward a degree, but the grade is included in the student’s GPA. For some assignments,such as an interest/research paper, the students are held to a higher standard the second time. A10-year Career Plan Past the Bachelor’s is revised, refined, and polished each year that a studentremains in school.An even greater challenge is to vary the assignments for the graduate students in the class.Engineering and Computer Science students who graduate through one of our Academic Successprograms can receive up to four semesters ($2K per semester) of scholarships for graduateschool. In our program, 95% of the students graduate and 50% of both the native and transferstudents go right on to graduate school. This is much higher than the national average of lessthan 25%. Also, the average for transfer students is even lower. The paper will discuss possiblefactors for this high percentage of students in graduate school through this program. Some of ourstudents go to other schools for graduate school, which is strongly encouraged.Ideally, the graduate students would have their own meetings, but it is difficult to find a commontime and requires additional organization to run a separate program. At the same time, thegraduate students have taken the class several time and are in a great position to teach and helpthe undergraduate students. In addition, some of the meetings are new topics and of interest toboth undergraduate and graduate students.This paper will discuss how the 14 graduate students were handled with the class in fall 2013.Included will be a description of the meetings run by graduate students: “Nuts and Bolts ofApplying to Graduate School” and “Graduate Panel: What is Graduate School Really Like?” Thegraduate panel meeting is a favorite of the Academic Success students. In addition, the graduatestudents were asked to volunteer to be a mentor for at most two students in the AcademicSuccess class who have the same major.The graduate students did have one meeting by themselves, in lieu of attending the regular classmeeting . The graduate students were given a book to read, “Women Don’t Ask”. At thegraduate student meeting, each student reported on the section of the book they were assigned toread and the students discussed the book. Their assignment was to select a situation in which tonegotiate and to write a 1-2 page paper on their experience. The results of this assignment will besummarized in this paper. Both the females and the males appreciated this experience andlearned from it, although some of the males still doubted that young women today would not“ask and negotiate”.

Anderson-Rowland, M. R. (2014, June), Working with Graduate Students in an Upper Division Students Program Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22793

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