2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

The Effectiveness of Engineering Camps as Pre-college Recruitment Tools

Presented at Track: Pre-college - Technical Session 6

The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of the college recruitment of summer engineering camp participants. Summer engineering camps hosted by colleges and universities have been in existence since the middle of the 20th century. These engineering camps exist to provide students with the opportunity to explore engineering, learn about different fields of engineering, work on projects, and interact with actual engineers. Additionally, these camps also often exist as a pre-college recruitment tool for the host college or university. Existing research indicates that these programs do have some influence on students becoming engineers. However, the efficacy of these programs as recruiting tools for the host college or university is largely unknown. To address this gap in knowledge, surveys were disseminated to high school age participants at the beginning and end of three residential engineering camps: an underrepresented minority (URM) male engineering camp, a female only engineering camp, and a co-ed engineering camp. Participants provided a history of their previous STEM experiences, their interest in engineering, their interest in a formal visit to the host university, their interest in completing a college application for the host university, and their interest in attending the host university. Survey results indicated a significant positive increase in the number of camp participants from all three camps interested in attending the host university after their camp experience (URM male: ∆x=0.47, p=0.02; all-female: ∆x=0.36, p=0.03; co-ed: ∆x=0.39, p=0.0007). These results suggest that these camps can serve as effective recruitment tools for colleges and universities.

  1. Malle R Schilling University of Dayton [biography]
  2. Dr. Margaret Pinnell University of Dayton [biography]
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