QEM logo

Workshops on the Mentoring and Professional Development of
Minority Students in Engineering

Home Page

The Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network received support from the Directorate for Engineering (ENG) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2009 to conduct a two-day workshop focused on the mentoring and professional development of underrepresented minority Engineering students. The workshop’s goal was to increase the participants’ understanding of the roles that faculty and peer mentoring can play in enhancingthe academic and professional outcomes of undergraduate engineering majors who are members of underrepresented minority groups. 


The mentoring workshop for minority undergraduates was held on November 13-14, 2009, in Baltimore, MD. The participants included 18 faculty/staff advisors and 142 undergraduate engineering majors, representing 15 institutions with ABET-accredited engineering programs (seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities, five Hispanic-serving Institutions, one Other Minority Institution, and two Predominantly White Institutions).


Faculty advisors who accompanied the students to the November 2009 Workshop were invited to participate in a July 2010 follow-up workshop to provide updates on changes at the campuses related to undergraduate students in engineering since the November 2009 workshop and to discuss the need/recommendation for a comparable workshop focused on the mentoring of doctoral students in engineering.


Both workshops reinforced the finding that mentoring and other support for engineering students at the graduate level is needed to help address the severe shortage of engineers with doctoral degrees from underrepresented groups. To further address this need, 15 insitutions with track records for producing significant numbers of engineering doctoral degree recipients from underrepresented minority groups were invited by QEM Network to each send a three-person engineering faculty team to a May 2011 workshop focused on the mentoring and professional development of underrepresented minority graduate engineering students. The purpose of the workshop was to share best practices and strategies for advising underrepresented minority graduate engineering students on their academic and career development plans.

In 2011, the NSF Division of Materials Research in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences provided support to enable the inclusion of underrepresented minority graduate students in materials science, and QEM held a November 2011 workshop focused on the professional development of underrepresented minority graduate students in engineering and materials science. The goals of the workshop were to: (1) provide master’s and doctoral engineering and materials science students from underrepresented minority groups with information, resources, and skills development opportunities to increase their success in graduate school and in transitioning to careers in academe, government, or industry; and (2) provide opportunities for the 102 student participants to network with each other as well as with the 42 engineering and materials science faculty and other professionals attending the workshop.

QEM/NSF ENG WORKSHOPS

Location
Date
Agenda
Report
Baltimore, MD
November 13-14, 2009
Baltimore, MD
May 13-14, 2011
Baltimore, MD
November, 18-19, 2011
Baltimore, MD
April 13-14, 2012

 

NOVEMBER 13-14, 2009 WORKSHOP
The mentoring workshop was held on November 13-14, 2009, in Baltimore, MD. The participants included 18 faculty/staff advisors and 142 engineering majors, representing 15 institutions with ABET-accredited engineering programs (seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities, five Hispanic-serving Institutions, one Other Minority Institution, and two Predominantly White Institutions). The advisors were engineering faculty or staff with interest, experience, and success in mentoring undergraduate engineering students, particularly underrepresented minorities. The November 2009 workshop provided an opportunity for undergraduate students from fifteen institutions to meet and interact with peers from across the country with similar interests and aspirations. The students completed Individual Mentoring and Academic/Career Plans (IMAPs); enhanced their personal and professional skill sets; and also met outstanding mentors and professionals in a range of careers with whom they discussed pathways to academic and professional success. A summary report on the Workshop proceedings is available at the QEM website (http://qemnetwork.qem.org/qemengmentoringrpt.pdf) for downloading and use by others.

July 19, 2010 Workshop
Faculty advisors who accompanied the students to the November Workshop were invited to participate in a follow-up workshop on Monday, July 19, 2010, at the Hilton BWI Airport in Linthicum, MD. At this workshop, QEM staff received an update on what had happened on the participating campuses related to undergraduate students in engineering since the November 2009 workshop and provided an opportunity for participants to discuss the need/recommendation for a comparable workshop focused on the mentoring of doctoral students in engineering who are members of groups underrepresented in engineering. Supporting students at this level through the receipt of a doctoral degree in engineering is clearly needed to help address the severe shortage of engineers with doctoral degrees from underrepresented groups available to join the faculty at minority and non-minority serving institutions offering degrees in engineering. NSF program directors as well as engineering faculty consultants and several presenters from the November 2009 workshop participated in the follow-up workshop.

MAY 13-14, 2011 WORKSHOP
The workshop for engineering faculty took place on Friday-Saturday, May 13-14, 2011, at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel at the BWI Airport, Baltimore, MD. Faculty teams, consisting mainly of senior faculty at the associate or full professor level, from 14 institutions as well as a range of administrators, engineering faculty consultants, and STEM professional contributed to a rich discussion on a range of topics addressing the mentoring and professional development of graduate students. Workshop participants received handouts and other materials, including a Resource CD, on the various topics as well as information from NSF on "Identifying/Securing Resources to Support the Development of Students as Engineering Scholars" and NSF's Broadening Participation efforts.

Topics discussed during the workshops included:

  • Modeling and Fostering Professional Behavior/Scholarly Conduct
    (including Ethics and Social Responsibility)
  • Developing Effective Mentoring and Advisement Strategies to Support Underrepresented Engineering Graduate Students
  • Preparing Doctoral Engineering Students and Mentoring Early Career Faculty for Careers in Academe
  • Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Engineering
  • Building Students' Self-Confidence and Self-Efficacy
  • Building Students’ Networking and Negotiating Skills
  • The Importance of Cultural Competency in Broadening the Participation of Minority Students in STEM Fields
  • Best Practices for the Retention and Degree Attainment of Engineering Graduate Students from Underrepresented Groups
  • Exploring Career Pathways: Meeting Academe/Government/Industry Expectations
  • Pedagogy for Engineering Education and Review of ABET’s Engineering Criteria 2000 (EC2000) Outcomes for Students
  • Role of Student Support Services in Student Success
  • Preparing Students to Meet Academic Expectations – Best Practices