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Book cover: Diversity in Higher Education

Diversity in Higher Education

ISSN: 1479-3644
Series editor(s): Professor Henry T. Frierson

Subject Area: Education

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Persistence of African-American male community college students in engineering

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Title:Persistence of African-American male community college students in engineering
Author(s):Terrence L. Freeman, Marcus A. Huggans
Volume:6 Editor(s): Henry T. Frierson, Willie Pearson, James H. Wyche ISBN: 978-1-84855-898-4 eISBN: 978-1-84855-899-1
Citation:Terrence L. Freeman, Marcus A. Huggans (2009), Persistence of African-American male community college students in engineering, in Henry T. Frierson, Willie Pearson, James H. Wyche (ed.) Black American Males in Higher Education: Diminishing Proportions (Diversity in Higher Education, Volume 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.229-251
DOI:10.1108/S1479-3644(2009)0000006016 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item

The twenty-first century will be dominated by technological change as the United States competes in an increasingly interdependent world. If the United States is to maintain its technological leadership, an inclusive engineering education is required. Engineering impacts many important aspects of day-to-day life from the environment to national security and half of our graduate degrees in engineering are granted to foreign nationals. While this influx of creative talent enriches the academic community, the underutilization of domestic talent threatens the engineering enterprise with professional shortages in university classrooms, research facilities, and corporate boardrooms. We are simultaneously challenged with addressing the shrinking pool of African-American males in higher education. The challenge is daunting but not insurmountable. Many African-American students have aspirations for engineering without the preparation and the community college is well suited to provide the bridge between aspiration and accomplishment. Community colleges serve 46% of all African-American students in higher education and there are exemplary programs that have tapped the underdeveloped resources in the African-American community. One example is the Emerson Minority Engineering Scholarship Program. By utilizing best practices, this program has helped to increase the pool of African-American engineers by providing opportunities to students who may have made other academic choices. This paper reviews persistence literature and discusses the challenges and strategies in developing a community college-based minority engineering program.

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