This paper is a “Work-in-Progress”. This paper describes the synergetic intersection of two programs designed to bring a particular group of minority students into aspects of a STEM career field. One program, sponsored by a national laboratory is designed to inform and train a these students about advanced manufacturing methods, in this case 3-D printing. The other program is also aimed at that same group of minority students but the purpose of the second program is to aid the students in becoming baccalaureate engineers. The programs exist simultaneously at a small group of tribal colleges or universities, TCU’s in the north-central US. The key question to be answered here is how can cooperation between the two programs resulted in a net positive impact to the surrounding community. A brief historical summary of similar programs trying to attract student talent into similar but different career fields will be given, i.e. in-home health services versus nursing or. MD programs, computer technician versus computer program. Some of the prior problems could be attributed to limited available human talent and a lack of program cooperation. A short description of each program will be given highlighting similarities and differences and the resources needed by each. The advantages of working the programs in tandem in particular areas will be discussed and examples given. Potential future opportunities and directions provided to each student by conducting the programs in cooperation will be illustrated. It is believed that combining such programs, experiences that allow students to have some immersive time within different career paths, will provide them with the opportunity to evaluate their own reaction and suitability to each career path, allowing them to envision themselves in those areas. This should provide for a more informed career choice and other benefits. Identifying how this cooperation might impact first year engineering students, leading to better persistence in the curriculum, is a major goal of this work.
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