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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v5.i4.40
pages 323-349

A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN UNDERREPRESENTED ENGINEERING STUDENTS

Mary Anderson-Rowland
Arizona State University
Stephanie L. Blaisdell
Student Learning and Assessment Commencement Office, University of Memphis
Shawna L. Fletcher
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Peggy A. Fussell
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Mary Ann McCartney
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Maria A. Reyes
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Mary Aleta White
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

ABSTRACT

In 1969, the first Women in Engineering (WIE) program was established at Purdue University. Soon after, formal Minority Engineering Programs (MEPs) were established in California. The arrangements for WIE and MEP offices within colleges and universities are very important. The best arrangement solution depends on the focus of the program, where the support exists, and the source of financial support. The underrepresentation and attrition of women, African-American, Hispanic, and Native American engineering students is a concern of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) at Arizona State University, in Tempe. In this metropolitan area of nearly three million, many high-tech companies look to the CEAS to help provide them with an adequate, diverse workforce. The College must also make account to the University and to the Arizona Board of Regents for the recruitment and retention of students, particularly freshmen. Additionally, the CEAS would like to increase its enrollment in order to support a larger faculty. The Office of Student Affairs and Special Programs in the CEAS was created to recruit, retain, support, and graduate students. The Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) program and the Office of Minority Engineering Programs, along with the CEAS Office of Recruitment and the CEAS Internship Office, are all part of the Office of Student Affairs. The personnel in these programs partner in many student recruitment and retention events. In particular, the college's Society of Women Engineers, which is housed within WISE, has successfully partnered with the Coalition of Engineering Minority Societies (CEMS). CEMS is comprised of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the National Society of Black Engineers. The students from these four organizations have successfully planned and executed several partnering activities that will be described. The collaborative efforts of the Office of Student Affairs have resulted in impressive increases in the enrollment and retention of students, particularly of women and minority undergraduates. In addition, the students, faculty, government, and industry representatives who are customers and partners of this Office have expressed their satisfaction with it.