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A University-State College Collaborative Project for Hispanic Student Success in STEM

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Diversity and Two-year Colleges Part 1

Tagged Division

Two-Year College

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Ali Zilouchian Florida Atlantic University

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Ali Zilouchian is the founding of a $4.5 Million Dollars grant from DOE entitled: “An Articulated Community College-University Framework for Increasing Graduation Rate of Hispanic and Low-Income Students in Computer Science” to be completed by 2021.
Professor Zilouchian was presented with 2017 FAU President’s Leadership Service Award for his contributions in research and community engagement efforts at FAU. He has published more than 160 book, book chapters, scholarly journal papers, and refereed conference proceedings. He has supervised more than 20 Ph.D. and MS students to completion during his tenure, and taught more than thirty (30) different courses related to engineering technology. He has also received many other awards including 1998 outstanding leadership award (IEEE, membership development), best organizer award (World Automation Congress, 2002), best paper award (WAC, 2002), 2003 and 2004 College of Engineering Dean’s awards. He has served as session chair and organizer of many sessions in the international conferences for the past 30 years. Professor Zilouchian is currently an associate editor of the International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering out of Oxford, UK. Professor Zilouchian is senior member of several professional societies including Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, ASEE and IEEE.

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Nancy Romance Florida Atlantic University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Romance is Professor of Science/Engineering Education and Director of FAU's STEM Collaborative. She is currently PI on the Title III Hispanic Serving Institution STEM Articulation grant and Co-PI on the College of Engineering and Computer Science's NSF S STEM grant guiding engineering majors toward completion of a MS degree in Artificial Intelligence. Her work is focused extensively on science and engineering activities to promote enhanced classroom engagement of students and increased discipline-based educational research. Her research interests address meaningful learning in complex STEM domains, coordinating learning communities, exploring options for reforming college mathematics curriculum which remains a serious barrier impacting student success and retention in undergraduate STEM programs.

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Hanqi Zhuang Florida Atlantic University

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Dr. Hanqi Zhuang is a professor in Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University. His research interests are in Machine Learning, Robotics, Computer Vision, and their applications, as well as Engineering Education. He is a Co-Director of a DoE Title III HSI grant.

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The session will report on the success of the last four years of implementing a collaborative DOE project between two state colleges and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) university with a combined 140,000+ undergraduate students. The session will also report on the revision of a Systemic, Evidenced-Based, and Student-Centered (SE-SC) framework as initially designed in the 2016 project proposal. The original SE-SC framework aims to maximize the number of academically-talented, Hispanic students who complete their AA degrees at the State Colleges and transfer to a 4-year institution to complete their BS degree and are career-ready to enter engineering and computer science (ECS). The revised SE-SC framework addresses the fully on-line educational challenge of undergraduate courses due to the current COVID-19 situation. In particular, the challenges related to on-line Engineering lab participation are addressed.

In addition, the on-line revision of a course-specific mentoring Support Model to ensure student success in completing the Gateway Courses is reported. The overall objective of the mentoring component of the project has been to support students enrolled in gateway mathematics courses to ensure successful course completion. The on-line challenges of mentors and advisors due to the COVID-19 situation are reported in the paper. Data collected for the past four years (2016-2020) validate the effectiveness of the proposed initiative. In addition, our innovative approaches to address education, advising, and mentoring challenges due to COVID-19 are presented in the paper. The collaborative model's effectiveness and significance could be replicated among other institutions interested in promoting engineering degrees among Hispanic and low-income students.

Zilouchian, A., & Romance, N., & Zhuang, H. (2021, July), A University-State College Collaborative Project for Hispanic Student Success in STEM Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36630

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