Opportunity Award Research

In 2007 with the encouragement of Kansas State University School of Engineering Dean Terry King, Associate Professor Kimberly Douglas-Mankin began a project to study the effectiveness of the loan guarantee award in motivating female engineering students to persist to graduation in undergraduate engineering. Dr. Douglas-Mankin, director of the KSU’s Women in Engineering and Science Program, studied the loan guarantee program by matching 20 pairs of students in their early years in the College of Engineering. The students were all female and were matched as to first generation to college (or not) and minority status. By toss of a coin, one student was given the Award and one was not. The student receiving the Carter Opportunity Award was designated a Carter Scholar. The WESP program was cited as the best in the nation in June 2010, but was subsequently discontinued by KSU.

By the end of the study, 8 of the 20 students in the control group graduated in engineering. In comparison, 18 of the 20 students who received the Carter Opportunity Award graduated in engineering, some returning to their studies after withdrawing for various reasons. The grade average of the students in the control group was higher than those in the experiment, suggesting that the availability of the Carter Opportunity Award did induce recipient students to persist to degree completion, despite their lower grades and other characteristics.

See Grauer, B. (2013). Carter Opportunity Award: Effects of the Carter Opportunity Award on the academic achievement of female students in the Kansas State University College of Engineering. Retrieved from krex.ksu.edu

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