June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.26.1 - 10.26.10
A Comprehensive Program Assessment of the Persistence and Pursuance of Graduate Degrees of Undergraduate Research Students at the University of Texas at El Paso
Benjamin C. Flores, Ann Darnell, Jana Renner Martinez, and Aida Rubio
The Model Institutions for Excellence Program The University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is an urban, regional university that serves a primarily Hispanic student population. UTEP has developed an academic model that includes curricular and co-curricular activities. A major component of the project, the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, is a centralized effort providing funding for selected science and engineering undergraduates to participate in research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Program assessment includes qualitative and quantitative assessment and the longitudinal tracking of student participants. The results from this comprehensive study demonstrate that the large majority of students who have participated in this program persist and graduate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. To date, 88 percent of the 303 participants have graduated, 6 percent are still enrolled in either the College of Science or College of Engineering (undergraduate), and only 5 percent have stopped out. More than a third (37%) have either earned an advanced degree or are currently pursuing a graduate degree.
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is an urban university located on the border of the United States and Mexico. The typical UTEP student is Hispanic (72%), is the first in his/her family to attend college, is employed (on or off-campus), and commutes to school each day. Many students (12%) are Mexican citizens who face the additional challenge of crossing an international bridge each day. Because the typical student has other commitments (family, work, etc.), it is not unusual for students to take 6 or more years to earn their baccalaureate degree. The 6-year graduation rate is approximately 25 percent.
The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program was implemented in 1995 as one component of the Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE) project at UTEP. Components of the project are based on Tinto’s longitudinal model of individual departure that can be analyzed in terms of a student’s pre-entry attributes, intentions, goals, and commitments, institutional experiences, and integration to academic and campus social life. The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) component was envisioned to promote faculty-student interaction and academic integration through laboratory and field research. The funding provided by the program has allowed a select group of students the opportunity to work on campus, gain experience in their field, and receive encouragement to attend graduate school. Prior to the
“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”
Flores, B., & Renner Martinez, J., & Darnell, A. (2005, June), A Comprehensive Program Assessment Of The Persistence And Pursuance Of Graduate Degrees Of Undergraduate Research Students At The University Of Texas At El Paso Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15076
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