Faculty support for minority engineering programs

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association


American Educational Research Association


Chicago, IL

Conference Dates

March 24-28, 1997

Date of Presentation



A survey was developed and mailed to a random sample of engineering professors at schools across the country with ABET-accredited (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) programs, asking them to assess the “value and appropriateness” of the existence of a formal, structured, general Minority Engineering Program in their School of Engineering, along with the following seven MEP-specific components: MEP student associations, scholarships, study centers, summer bridge programs, special tutoring programs, career fairs, and awards banquets. On a scale of 1–10 (1 = Very low, should not exist at all; 10 = Very high, critical), the engineering professors tended to express general endorsement of MEP's considering the middle of the scale (5.5) represents a neutral position and the sample average was 6.51. However, there was considerable variability (SD=3.13). Greatest support was found for financial and academic forms of assistance, with less support given to clustering-types of activities. In addition, attitudinal differences between types of institutions (public vs. private; research vs. non-research), size, and location of schools were explored. State schools yielded higher scores than private; regionally, the Midwest was the highest and the East was the lowest; and in terms of size, we found that the larger the school, the higher the score. Finally, open-ended comments were analyzed as a qualitative component to shed light on the numerical results.