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2022 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity, CoNECD 2022 ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2011812


Developing and implementing programming for pre-college and undergraduate racially and ethnically diverse (RED) students and faculty is an integral part of higher education, as it provides experiences and educational enrichment not often found in classrooms. For many practitioners, developing such programs includes tasks such as contacting speakers, securing classrooms, and arranging interactive activities to ensure a great student experience. Not on the task list: "hosting a virtual program in case of a global pandemic." As news circulated regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and universities around the world took drastic measures to curtail the spread of the virus. Nearly 1,100 colleges and universities in the United States closed their campuses with only days' notice to faculty, staff, and students. COVID-19 caused the cancellation of in-person events and programs, while others quickly transitioned online. The transition online was not only a challenge to the program participants, but also to the practitioners implementing virtual educational programs. Many variables had to be considered to deliver impactful virtual instruction, such as applicable technology, accessibility, and the use of live or pre-recorded content. Moreover, creating equitable and impactful virtual programming that served racial, ethnic, and linguistically diverse individuals required the use of unique programming methods and techniques. © 2022 American Society for Engineering Education.

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1696008


People of color are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines (STEM). The number is even smaller for women of color who enter into STEM fields. Based on current projections, it is estimated that by the year 2044, underrepresented minorities (Black, Hispanic, LatinX and American Indian) will comprise over 50% of the overall population in the U.S. However, underrepresented minority (URM) youth lag significantly behind their white and Asian American counterparts in their interest in STEM. Lower representation of URMs in STEM can be attributed to a variety of factors including, a lack of institutional commitment, a lack of representation throughout students' upbringing, ineffective cultural recruitment/outreach efforts, educational discrepancies throughout PK-12, and social expectations, among others. A large portion of government efforts to address this problem focuses on initiatives and training to overcome negative perceptions and attitudes towards STEM and entice more URM youth into STEM pathways. For the United States to maintain a competitive position in innovation and technology, the disparity must be reduced. The Women of Color Summer Engineering Camp (WOCSEC) was developed to address the disparity. The camp was composed of six outreach components to provide engaging, critical thinking and uplifting experiences for all its participants. The components include: Engineer Spotlight Interview;Engineering Design Challenge;Empowerment Session;Design Lab;Interactive Forum and Panel;and College Readiness. Due to Covid-19 the camp was transformed from an in-person face to face experience to a virtual experience. Online learning is an effective method of instruction, provided that devices and technology platforms are accessible and screen time is monitored and limited. WOCSEC includes workshops for standardized testing, the college application process, scholarship resources, shadowing opportunities, summer internships and the required high school courses required of most collegiate engineering programs. Students were given a pre-survey the first day of the camp to assess their attitudes and perceptions towards entering STEM fields. In an effort to measure student's change in perception, students completed a post survey. In addition to the pre-post survey, a semi-annual quantitative and qualitative inquiry tool will be administered to camp participants throughout high school to measure their interest in engineering, intent to major in STEM and overall college readiness. In this paper we will describe how the program was implemented, the experience of the participants and share the data from the pre-post survey. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2021