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John Brooks Slaughter, President & CEO Dary! E. Chubin, Senior Vice President National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), Inc. NACME AND THE NATION: NEED AND OPPORTUNITY In 1974, NACME's founders estimated that it would take 10 years for minority representation in engineering graduates to mirror that of the col- lege-age population. Twenty-eight years later, parity remains elusive. In 2001, African-Americans, American Indians, and Latinos one-third of the college-age population represented only 10 percent of all engineer- ing graduates and only 6 percent of the engineering workforce. Although enrollments soared through the mid-199Os, a persistent and significant achievement gap continues to grow. Only two of five minority students nationally who enroll in engineering graduate with a baccalau- reate degree in engineering, compared to two of three nonminority stu- dents. A recent report by the GE Fund found that U.S. engineering institu- tions would need to graduate more than 250,000 minority engineers in the coming decade to reflect the ethnic and racial composition of the general population. The task is daunting, especially considering that those insti- tutions have only graduated 116,000 since 1971.~ The need is clear. Over the next decade the traditional college-age population will swell by some 15 percent, producing 30 million 18- to 24-year-olds by 2015. But in sharp contrast to earlier generations, some 85 percent of this pool will be minorities, and 41 percent are likely to come from low-in- iCampbell, P.B., Jolly, E., Hoey, L., PearIman, J~.K, Upping the Numbers: Using Research- Based Decision Making to Increase Diversity in the Quantitative Disciplines. A report commis- sioned by the GE Fund Qanuary 2002), p. 2.
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PAN-~CANIZAHONAL SUMMIT come families. Futurists call those born between 1980 and 2000 "genera- tion next." They total almost 70 million, weaned on high-tech gadgetry and fast-paced routines at work and play. This generation is the nation's demographic future and they are NACME's target audience.2 The op- portunity looms. The findings and recommendations below derive both from NACME's first-hand experience and our distillation of national trends and studies. In what follows we are unabashedly self-referential as a minor- ity-serving organization with a national mission, a recognized track record, and origins in the National Academy itself. FINDINGS Increasing Access and Retention The concept of an "underserved community" refers to gaps in the necessary college preparatory coursework (notably mathematics and sci- ence) provided through K-12 education. Graduating from schools lack- ing experienced teachers, standards-based curricula and materials, and access to technology, students start behind and often stay behind. If they are first-generation college attendees from low-income families, the bur- dens of their circumstances can dwarf their aspirations. They often lack role models, information, and counseling. Yet they have potential that can be developed. NACME has learned from its program operation experience that in- creasing opportunity for recruitment to undergraduate study requires a multifaceted strategy. Scholarships alone will not suffice. The sheer rigor of engineering coupled with the academic deficits that students of color from underserved communities often carry into college demands inter- vention. Barriers to minority student retention continue to be: the cost of education, isolating campus climates, a lack of peer and faculty engage- ment, and inadequate math and science preparation.3 Increasing the minority retention rate to that of nonminorities would raise aggregate baccalaureate production of underrepresented 2Symonds, W.C. "America's Future College Crunch The Human Factor," Business Week, August 20-27, 2001. For a perspective on engineering's human resource needs for the next decade, see J.B. Slaughter, "Engineering Education for the 21St Century," Keynote presenta- tion, Annual Conference and Exposition, American Society for Engineering Education, Montreal, Canada, June 17, 2002. 3Based on literature summarized at the Merck-NACME Think Tank on Retention, New York, NY, April 11, 2002. See "Attention to Retention," NACME Report, September 2002; and G.S. May and D.E. Chubin, "A Retrospective on Undergraduate Engineering Success for Underrepresented Minority Students," Journal of Engineering Education, forthcoming 2003.
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minorities in engineering to cat 10,000 per year. In other words, it would produce 100,000 over a decade, which is still less than half of the quarter million needed to reach parity with the minority presence in the general population. Increased access through academic prepa- ration and financial aid must augment current enrollments rates. To enhance selection for college admission students with unconventional academic profiles, we provide financial assistance as well as intellec- tual support (e.g., mentoring, peer tutoring, internship experiences). Our goal is not only to boost retention to completion of the baccalaure- ate, but, moreover, to equip the neophyte engineer for success in the workplace. Building Public Awareness Informing choices motivated NACME's successful Math Is Power campaign. In 1995, realizing the need to cast a larger net to prepare students for engineering, NACME launched Math Is Power, a public service campaign that tells students about the importance of taking academic-track math courses. The good news, discovered through NACME's own follow-up surveys, is that students and parents were empowered to demand rigorous mathematics as the foundation to compete for admission to higher education. The bad news is that de- spite a multiyear multimedia campaign involving millions of dollars in pro bono radio and TV advertising, an 800 number, billboards, and kits for teachers and other allies of children, the campaign suffers from limited reach nationally.4 In May 2002, GuideMeNACME: A RoadMap to Engineering (www. guidemenacme.org) was launched at the National Academy of Engineer- ing (NAE) as an antidote to what guidance counselors and other signifi- cant others in underserved communities often fail to provide.5 Illumi- nating the pathways to a career in engineering, GuideMeNACME is targeted to middle and high school students of color, with easy-to-navi- gate sections and hundreds of links to local programs for students, par- ents, and educators. The site provides information on scholarships, ap- plying to engineering school, and minority role models in various disciplines and industries. 4Markow, D., and K. Moore, "Progress Toward Power: A Follow-up Survey of Children and Parents' Attitudes about Math and Science," NACME Research Letter, vol. 9, October 2001. 5Today, the site features hundreds of links, audio and video, for parents, teachers, higher educators, and companies in a "one-stop shopping" mode. A Spanish-language version is in the works.
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130 PAN-~CANIZAHONAL SUMMIT Influencing Career Choice Historically, less than 10 percent of high school graduates and six men for every woman intend to pursue an undergraduate degree in en- gineering. Roughly half that proportion, 5-6 percent of college graduates, earn a degree in engineering. As the college-age population approaches 80 percent women and minorities in the next 15 years, the very groups historically neither recruited nor supported in SHE will represent the pool of talent for which all professions (including medicine and law) compete. As has been demonstrated, science fares poorly even worse than engi- neering in career prospects, lifetime earnings, and quality of student and professional life relative to its competitors.6 By reflecting a broader range of intellectual interest and work orienta- tion, heterogeneity by race, ethnicity, and gender adds value in several ways. No more is this apparent than in engineering colleges, where only 2 percent of the faculty is minority. A diverse faculty is a sure sign to an increasingly diverse student body that a woman or person of color can indeed excel and achieve. Such role models are often disparaged, but they can make a difference between persistence in and departure from a sci- ence or engineering course of study.7 Assessing Institutional Production The concentration of federal R&D funding, with 100 institutions ac- counting for 90 percent of federal R&D obligations and 30 institutions receiving the lion's share of that, is familiar to us all. The same applies to which universities produce the most Ph.D.'s. But how do these lists change when the output is women and minority graduates B.S. and Ph.D. in en- gineering? Size matters here. We should look for "critical mass" or some indication that within an institution a cadre across cohorts has been cre- ated and sustained. Of cat 300 institutions that award engineering degrees (according to the Engineering Workforce Commission), only 71 graduated half of the B.S. engineers in 2000. These same institutions, in the aggregate, produced engineers in the following categories: 35 percent of women, 47 percent of African-Americans, 57 percent of Latinos, and 53 percent of American In- 6Teitelbaum, M., "How We (Unintentionally) Make Scientific Careers Unattractive," in Scientists and Engineers for the New Millennium: Renewing the Human Resource, D.E. Chubin and W. Pearson, Jr. (eds.) (Washington, DC: Commission on Professionals in Science & Tech- nology, 2001), pp. 71-79; and Seymour, E. and N.M. Hewitt, Talking About Leaving: Why Un- dergraduates Leave the Sciences (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1998~. 7Chubin, D.E., and J.B. Slaughter, "Last Word: Right under Our Noses," ASEE Prism, Sep- tember 2002, p. 72.
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dians. Yet only two universities produced a baccalaureate engineer from allfour of those categories. Fifty-two of the remaining 69 universities spe- cialized in one group only. Except for B.S. degrees awarded to women in engineering, in institutions that awarded at least 500 such degrees in 2000, the top producers of minority B.S. engineers hardly overlap with the list of major research universities. At the doctoral level, the results are even more skewed, though the universities are recognized R&D performers.8 In all, only 45 institutions accounted for 60 percent of all the Ph.D.'s in engineering awarded to women and underrepresented minorities, with no university producing at least one in all four categories. One can argue that doctoral education is market insen- sitive, decentralized by department or program and driven by faculty inter- ests and funding, not by demand for new professionals in particular disci- plines who possess certain skills or industry or sector orientations. RECOMMENDATIONS The NACME portfolio is founded on four bedrock strategies that we believe will strengthen the nation's efforts to develop human resources for science and engineering: establish and grow partnerships, build insti- tutional capability, learn from our programs, and transfer and adapt knowledge.9 Our recommendations build on these strategies. In 2001, NACME's history of college scholarship support for high-po- tential students of color became a more seamless approach middle school to workplace. Student readiness for college may be revealed by college en- trance exams and admission decisions, but an academic profile that includes rigorous mathematics and science courses bestows a true competitive ad- vantage.~° While few high school students take four years of math and sci- ence, nonminority students are twice as likely as their minority peers to have taken the requisite courses. Some of this is due to choice (students opt out of challenging coursework), but some is due to a lack of course offer- ings, especially as provided by experienced, certified teachers using stan- dards-based materials and technology-laced pedagogy. Of course, the threshold is far lower (at least 50 produced, with at least 20 percent female) because the numbers produced are far more modest. 9As elaborated in the Board-approved "NACME Program and Planning Strategy, 2001- 2002," June 2001. i°Adelman, C., Answers in the Toolbox: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor Degree Attainment Jessup, MD: Education Publication Center, 1999~. iiSee, for example, articles in the debut issue of The NACME Journal: The State of Minori- ties in Engineering and Technology, 2001-2002, including "A Resolution [on College Admis- sions Policies] of the NACME Board of Directors to Presidents of U.S. Engineering Institu- tions" (pp. 36-37~.
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132 PAN-~CANIZAHONAL SUMMIT NACME's student support strategy relies on, indeed must grow the capacity of, its partner institutions. Individual scholarships, which NACME awarded in the l990s through its successful Engineering Van- guard Program, served us as a demonstration model. To impact more institutions and students, we now favor a block grant mechanism that affords the partner institution the greatest flexibility in coverage and ad- ministration of student costs. In fuly 2002, NACME sent a letter to the presidents of 277 Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited engineering institutions inviting them to indicate their interest in joining in the block grant program. We were heartened to re- ceive 110 responses with supporting documentation (a 40 percent return). Institutions committed to excellence in the undergraduate engineer- ing education should exhibit outcomes that exceed national enrollment, retention, and graduation trends, and provide evidence of a campus cul- ture that values and supports student success, particularly in recruitment, admissions, pre-matriculation enrichment, and community building.~3 Memoranda of understanding that establish guidelines and expectations for performance should seal partnerships between sponsors and higher- education institutions. NSF could adopt these under Merit Review Cr~te- rion 2 and, under the rubric of "integrating research and education," make awards accordingly. Institutions of higher education must be made more accountable for outcomes. U.S. News and World Report rankings are reputational and rely on input variables such as endowment dollars and fraction of faculty with Ph.D.'s. An assessment of how the institution improves student access, knowledge, and skills would measure the difference between what stu- dents bring to the university and what they have attained as they exit i2Individuals selected as NACME scholars receive funds based on financial need (deter- mined, for example, as eligibility for a Pell grant). We aim to fill financial aid gaps, replace "self-help," and leverage other sources of support primarily the nontaxable costs of tuition and books on behalf of the student, which is consistent with the partner institution's inten- tion to meet student need. Given the variability in tuition, fees, and books, we want to stretch scarce resources and at the same time increase the number of students that can be supported under the block award. Recruitment refers to institutional leadership committed to recruiting and admitting promising students from high schools in underserved communities and two-year colleges; admissions to published policies and procedures that goes beyond SAT/ACT scores and high school GPA in evaluating student potential to succeed in engineering; pre-matriculation en- richment to summer programs designed to enrich intellectual exchange and socialize stu- dents for participation in the life of the university and the engineering community); and community-building to a campus community and institutional support structure for faculty, students, and administrators designed to increase student engagement and grow the capa- bility to graduate more students of color in engineering prepared for entry to graduate school and the workforce.
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~$ ~ as ~ 1 LJ Led degree in hand. Student performance should become a metric for faculty and department performance to be judged alongside research productiv- ity and grantsmanship.~4 Universities could be required to show how they add value in converting raw SAT-certified talent, as well as those with two-year college experience, into skilled science-based professionals. As attempts to "grow our own" stall, we continue to import talent a sacrosanct value in this democracy and especially in the history of U.S. science and rely on ad hoc measures such as H1-B visas. This may be necessary, even as the threat of terrorism narrows our thinking, but is no substitute for a national human resource development policy. Only a strat- egy of investment in native talent will prepare the population to ascend to positions of leadership in and outside the academic sector. Institutional leaders should make departments accountable for succeeding in growing the SHE workforce instead of relying on the importation of talent. Public sector organizations with which NACME personally collaborate such as BEST, NAE, AAAS, and NSF are dedicated to the proposition stated at the outset: Generation Next is the nation's demographic future. It is our collec- tive responsibility to nurture, develop, and guide it not only by directly sup- porting the financial and intellectual needs of students, but also by activating institutional allies who can bring full campus resources to bear on the develop- ment of human resources for science, engineering, and the national workforce. i4Hersh, R.H., and R. Benjamin, "Assessing the Quality of Student Learning in Under- graduate Education: An Imperative for State Policy and Practice," CAL Policy Papers, Coun- cil for Aid to Education, New York, NY, 2001.
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