A Ten Year Assessment of the Pre-Engineering Program for Under-Represented, Low Income and/or First Generation College Students at The University of Akron

Paul C. Lam, Tirumalai Srivatsan, Dennis Doverspike, John Vesalo, P Ruby Mawasha


This paper summarizes the findings of
a ten year study on a Pre-Engineering
program aimed at dramatically
improving both the recruitment and
retention of under-represented
students pursuing careers in Science,
Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics (STEM) at The University
of Akron. The primary goal of this
study was to evaluate The University
of Akron?s operation of the special High
School Upward Bound, Upward Bound
Math Science, Educational Talent
Search and Pre-Engineering
Academic Achievement Programs with
the primary objective of increasing the
number of under-represented students
in STEM. The programs are offered in
collaboration with the College of
Engineering Minority Engineering
program, Increasing Diversity in
Engineering Academics (IDEAs). The
net effectiveness of the programs was
measured using the following
parameters: (a) average high school
grade point average both before and
after participating in Pre-Engineering
programs, (b) high school math and
science achievements, (c) retention
rate for students returning from
previous year, (d) students enrolling in
colleges and (e) percentage of
students committed to STEM upon
graduation. The most noteworthy
result stemming from the use of these
strategies is that the targeted students,
who have expressed an enthusiastic
interest in pursuing mathematics and
science, are highly motivated,
ambitious and excited about exploring

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JSTEM. ISSN: 1557-5284