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ARCO'S COMMITMENT TO NATIONWIDE MINORITY ENGINEERING PROGRAM EXCEEDS $5 MILLION

 LOS ANGELES, Dec. 2 ~PRNewswire~ -- The ARCO Foundation announced today it is awarding $600,000 in grants to 25 universities and colleges to retain under-represented minority students pursuing careers in engineering. This latest grant brings the foundation's five-year total for the program to more than $5 million.
 "We are proud of all that has been achieved since the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) began in 1987," said ARCO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lodwrick M. Cook.
 "Every university that implemented our recommended services has reported dramatic increases in minority student achievement and retention. At the University of Oklahoma, for example, the number of minority students who persisted with their engineering major between freshman and sophomore years more than doubled because of MEP. An unexpected side benefit to these retention efforts is the increase in minority engineering enrollment at many of the MEP institutions."
 The 25 colleges and universities receiving ARCO grants in 1992 were selected for their desire to implement program components based on a "collaborative learning" model developed by Dean Ray Landis of Cal State-Los Angeles, a consultant to the ARCO Foundation.
 These components include freshman orientation courses, a teamwork approach to building a learning community and a system to collect data on student performance in order to assess the program's effectiveness.
 Grants ranging from $15,000 to $35,000 can be used to hire counselors, tutors and workshop organizers and provide opportunities and places for students to study in teams.
 "A real sign of MEP's acceptance is that many of the colleges and universities have institutionalized the salaries of MEP directors with their own hard dollars, and several now provide MEP-type services to all engineering students," said Cook.
 "There is no denying the severe shortage of African-American, Native American and Hispanic engineers in today's marketplace. Too few minorities are entering the engineering pipeline, and too few are retained after they enter. As a nation, we cannot allow this situation to continue."
 The following universities and colleges were endorsed by ARCO operating divisions for 1992 grants:
 California Maritime Academy, Cal State-Long Beach, Cal State Poly-Pomona, Cal State Poly-San Luis Obispo, Colorado School of Mines, Florida A&M University, Kansas State University, Louisiana State University, New Mexico State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, UCLA, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Houston, University of Kansas, University of Missouri- Rolla, University of New Mexico, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas-Austin, University of Texas-El Paso and University of Washington.
 -0- 12~2~92
 ~CONTACT: Albert Greenstein of ARCO, 213-486-3384~
 (ARC)


CO: ARCO ST: California IN: OIL SU:

KJ-LS -- LA002 -- 2744 12~02~92 08:16 EST
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Date:Nov 30, 1992
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