ERIC Number: EJ794721
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-5
Reference Count: 0
Providing a "Full Circle of Support"
Pember, Mary Annette
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v25 n2 p18-20 Mar 2008
George Thomas, a Cherokee and an eager young graduate student at the University of Oklahoma in the 1970s, was discouraged to learn that American Indian students were openly discouraged from pursuing areas of higher education that involved "hard science." Thomas had been recruited by the university to serve as the director of its new program, "FATE," First Americans--Tomorrow's Engineers. The program goal was to bring more American Indians to the university's engineering school. At the time, only two American Indian students were enrolled in engineering. As he traveled the state enthusiastically promoting engineering as a career choice, Thomas was dismayed at the paternal attitude of high school and college instructors who sought to protect students from failure, steering them away from disciplines that required mastery of mathematics and towards more vocational pursuits. More insidious was the belief among students that they could not do math or science. That was 30 years ago. Today, Thomas, who went on to co-found the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), is proud to report that the organization has helped take "the legs off the myth that American Indians can't do math and science." This article describes how AISES, which was founded in 1977 by six American Indian engineers, scientists and educators who shared the passionate belief that American Indians are capable of and belong in all aspects of STEM-related careers, supports young American Indian students at the university level.
Descriptors: National Organizations, Organizational Culture, American Indians, American Indian Education, Career Choice, Engineering, Science Careers, Engineering Education, Science Education, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A