Collaborations with non-metropolitan community colleges

Mary R. Anderson-Rowland, Anita E. Grierson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


As the need for more engineers in the United States is becoming critical, the community College (CC) is becoming more important as a place to begin the nurture of more students who will choose engineering or computer science as a career. The Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) accepts about 300 transfers each year. Our research has shown that about half of these CC transfers decided on engineering or computer science (hereafter just referred to as engineering) after they were at the CC. Therefore there is great potential in working with a CC and the high school students local to that college to inform and to encourage these students to consider engineering as their major. Since women and underrepresented minority students are over represented in the CCs compared with four-year institutions, collaborations with CCs also has the potential of increasing engineering diversity. The Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering has worked with six local metropolitan community CCs for the past six years in encouraging students to select engineering as their major and to remain in engineering. We support the transfer student through an orientation and a special center for CC students on the ASU campus. We employ successful transfer students in the center who act as resource people for new transfer students. The center also provides workshops to help transfer students. We also have an academic scholarship program (funded by the National Science Foundation: CSEMS grant # 0324212 and then S-STEM grant # 0728695) for transfer students which has resulted in a retention and graduation rate of over 90%. This paper will discuss an exploratory program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (grant # 0836050) taken on by Fulton to collaborate with three nonmetropolitan CCs which lie 60-200 miles from ASU. At present very few students from these schools come to ASU for engineering. We will discuss the primary needs of such CCs as they attempt to build up their preengineering programs. Complete articulation agreements already exist with ASU for each CC in the state of Arizona. This collaboration includes a visit each semester by an ASU team to each CC. At least one of these events each year will also include high school students and their parents local to the CC. In this way, the ASU teams help the CC build up enrollment for preengineering as well as inform undecided CC students that engineering would be a good career choice. The paper also discusses the ways that support is given to high school and CC students through a mentoring program with engineering students at ASU. Other collaborative efforts will be discussed as well as the barriers that exist at a nonmetropolitan CC in building a preengineering program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2009Jun 17 2009


Other2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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