The Academy of Courageous Minority Engineers: A Model For Supporting Minority Graduate Students in the Completion of Science and Engineering Degrees

June 24, 2007


Eric Brittain, Reginald Bryant, Lincoln Chandler, Robbin Chapman, Shaundra Bryant Daily, Mark Hampton, Ishara Mills-Henry, Aisha Walcott,


A major obstacle for minority students completing graduate degrees in science and engineering is a lack of support system. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Academy of Courageous Minority Engineers (ACME) – a group designed to retain and enhance the experience of minority graduate students by facilitating and supporting programming geared toward completion of graduate degrees in multiple disciplines including electrical engineering, computer science, media arts and sciences, biology, and urban studies. While support or accountability groups are not a new idea, ACME strives to make this process systematic and focused through a web-based system, ACME Online that allows members to post and track their personal goals and comment on the goals of other members. Weekly forums are held to discuss and provide constructive feedback on the content of and progress toward research goals as well as discussion topics related to graduate school success including time management, preparing for qualifying exams, and advisor-advisee relationships. In another component of ACME, monthly lunch series are held to provide a diverse and supportive environment for graduate students to present research ideas, problems, papers, or results, and receive feedback from their peers in a range of disciplines. This paper will describe the technological infrastructure, management, and responsibilities of the members of ACME as well as information directly related to student success.

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