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A Follow Up Study on the Impact of Summer Research Experiences on Community College Students Career Paths

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Research Experiences at Two-year Colleges

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

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Paper Authors


Lea K Marlor University of California, Berkeley

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Lea Marlor is the Education and Outreach Program Manager for the Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science, a NSF-funded Science and Technology Center at the University of California, Berkeley. She manages undergraduate research programs to recruit and retain underrepresented students in science and engineering and also outreach to pre-college students to introduce them to science and engineering career opportunities. Ms. Marlor joined University of California, Berkeley in 2013. She has a B.S. in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Catherine T. Amelink Virginia Tech

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Dr. Amelink is Director of Graduate Programs and Assessment in the College of Engineering, Virginia Tech. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the Departments of Engineering Education and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Virginia Tech.

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The Transfer-to-Excellence Research Experience for Undergraduates program (TTE REU) offers cutting edge research projects to community college students, hosted by the University of California. The overall goal of the TTE REU program is to increase the number of community college students transferring to a 4 year school to earn a bachelors in science and engineering. TTE REU has been operating since 2011 and has hosted 66 community college students. Each TTE participant is placed in a faculty member’s lab and mentored closely by a graduate student for their nine-week internship. This paper will focus on the impact this program has had on the participants through a follow up study with the students hosted in 2012, 2013, and 2014. All TTE REU participants were surveyed and asked to evaluate how the program has impacted them in the short term. TTE REU participants were asked how well the program prepared them to apply to transfer, how prepared they were to succeed at a 4 year school, and what their career and educational goals were following the program. The participants were then surveyed several years later to evaluate how the program impacted them in the long term. Participants were asked how many had transferred to a four year program, completed a four year program, how many were continuing on into graduate school, and if the TTE REU program influenced this decision. Our study examined the short and long term impacts of the TTE REU program across the three cohort years (2012, 2013, 2014). Our study revealed that positive short term impacts did not translate to immediate long term outcomes.

Marlor, L. K., & Amelink, C. T. (2017, June), A Follow Up Study on the Impact of Summer Research Experiences on Community College Students Career Paths Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27462

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