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Arizona State University's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering with the Maricopa County Community Colleges District and K-12 school districts along with industry partners, Honeywell, Intel, and Texas Instruments, and the Helios Education Foundation will implement an NSF Design and Development Launch Pilot to address the broadening participation objectives of enhancing entry and persistence of underrepresented groups in engineering. This alliance will identify and develop effective mechanisms to impact entry and persistence in engineering at scale and to expand the effort for the region, serving as a model for Arizona and other universities nationally. Diversity is often seen as a valuable commodity for fostering innovation and creativity in engineering, and extant theoretical and empirical literature provides evidence of the importance a diversified engineering workforce can have to spark scientific and technological innovation to solve complex problems. Nationally, there is a consistent shortage of available diverse engineers and scientists, which is believed to compromise the country's ability to sustain its leadership position as a global force. This project will create engineering pathways for underrepresented groups and identify and develop effective mechanisms that impact these students' entry and persistence in engineering.

A total of 500 high school students, 100 2-year college students, and 200 four-year college students will participate in the project. The research measures will focus on students' academic/career awareness and interest in engineering and the degree to which students develop a strong identity and affinity for engineering. It is expected that the alliance affiliates will develop into adaptive systems that respond to needs of first-generation students at various pathway junctures. This project has the potential to transform educational experiences and support systems for first-generation students.



 National Science Foundation, Division of Engineering Education and Centers


September 2017 — August 2019