community colleges at some time (Tsapogas, 2004). Nevertheless, the committee believes that community colleges have not achieved their full potential for several reasons: (1) a lack of understanding among parents, teachers, counselors, and students of the effectiveness of community colleges in producing engineering graduates; (2) less than effective articulation agreements (policies and programs designed to foster transfer) between community colleges and four-year institutions; and (3) a lack of cooperation and coordination among high schools, community colleges, four-year institutions, and state higher-education agencies.
The workshop focused on five themes, in addition to identifying areas for further research:
Challenges and opportunities for improving articulation and transfer between community colleges and four-year educational institutions.
The recruitment and retention of students at various junctures of the community college pathway to engineering careers.
The curricular content, quality, and standards of two-year A.S. programs and of four-year engineering programs.
Opportunities for community colleges to increase diversity in the engineering workforce.
Sources of data on community college and transfer students and the need for more systematic data collection.
The report provides descriptions of exemplary programs and practices of community colleges and four-year educational institutions; outreach activities designed to recruit and retain K–12 students through the completion of the baccalaureate degree; and statewide initiatives focused on articulation and transfer. The committee recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” approach to articulation and transfer programs; therefore, the workshop was designed to identify a variety of ways community colleges and four-year educational institutions could improve pathways to careers in engineering and improve educational outcomes in preparing students to pursue engineering education. Based on the personal and professional experience of committee members and the workshop, the practices detailed in this report were identified as initiatives that have enhanced community college pathways to engineering.
The experiences described by workshop representatives of two- and four-year schools indicate that articulation agreements are necessary, but not sufficient, for seamless transfers of community college students. The committee defined a “good” transfer partnership as a “second-level articulation,” that is, cooperative efforts by the two-year and four-year college to recruit students into engineering. Articulation, therefore, should