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An Institutional Model For Student And Faculty Support

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Knowing Students:Diversity and Retention

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.181.1 - 7.181.15



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Paper Authors

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Benjamin Flores

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Thomas Brady

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Helmut Knaust

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Connie Kubo Della-Piana

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Andrew Swift

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Jana Renner Martinez

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 1430

An Institutional Model for Student and Faculty Support

Benjamin C. Flores, Connie Kubo Della-Piana, Thomas Brady, Andrew Swift, Helmut Knaust and Jana Renner Martínez

The Model Institutions for Excellence Program, The University of Texas at El Paso, TX 79968


The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has developed a comprehensive support system for undergraduate science and engineering education with support from the National Science Foundation. This model integrates four programs designed to increase the retention and success of science and engineering students attending an urban commuter campus. In order to ensure a successful transition into college, UTEP has implemented an entering student program for our science and engineering majors. To strengthen the community of student learners on campus, UTEP has created both a state-of-the-art academic center for student support and a center for effective teaching and learning for professors, teaching assistants, and undergraduate peer leaders. Finally, UTEP has developed an undergraduate research program for students who wish to participate in an academic research experience under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Since the implementation of these programs, first and second-year student retention in science and engineering has increased significantly over baseline data. The graduation rate is expected to double over an eleven-year period. This paper describes the structure, goals, impact, and evaluation of the program.

I. Introduction

The under-representation of ethnic and racial minorities in the fields of science and engineering has become a growing concern among educators and policymakers in recent years. In order to ensure that our nation remains at the forefront of science and technology, it is imperative that the science and engineering workforce be representative of the entire workforce. 1,2 In recent years, efforts have been made to increase the number and diversity of students who earn baccalaureate degrees in science and engineering and go on to pursue graduate degrees in these fields. With the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF), UTEP has developed a comprehensive model focused on achieving this goal.

Research in the area of persistence and departure in higher education emphasizes the importance of student involvement both the academic and social aspects of college life. According to Tinto’s (1993) model of departure and persistence, colleges are “interactive systems” in which both the social and academic aspects are linked, and some degree of integration in both systems influences the student’s decision to stay or leave. 3 Because factors such as interactions with faculty and an engaging academic environment play a role in retention, UTEP’s academic support model consists of four components designed to engage students academically, encourage student involvement on campus, and increase interactions with faculty.

Proceedings of the 2002American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Flores, B., & Brady, T., & Knaust, H., & Kubo Della-Piana, C., & Swift, A., & Renner Martinez, J. (2002, June), An Institutional Model For Student And Faculty Support Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10051

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